Lasagna from Nonna

Maria, my Italian wife, loves cooking. This authentic Italian lasagna recipe is one of her recipes that I love eating.

Scroll down to below the recipe for our lasagna FAQ section

Authentic Lasagna dish

I've just spent hours at the table with Maria, her mamma, and the rest of the family, enjoying this dish and a little more wine than I should have. They say the way to a person's heart is through their stomach, and this dish proves that to be true.

Why not make it for you and your loved ones this Sunday?

It's the perfect way to gather around the table and create lasting memories. The aroma of the lasagna in the oven will fill your home with warmth and anticipation. And as you savor each tender bite, you'll feel a connection to the rich culinary traditions of Italy.

So grab a bottle of your favorite white wine, gather the ingredients, and get ready to indulge in a meal that will transport you to a world of flavors. Whether you're a seasoned cook or only right at the beginning of your culinary journey, this recipe will definitely impress your guests and have them longing for their next invitation to lunch or dinner. 

Buon Appetito!

Which is the best authentic Italian cook book?

Having lived in Italy for over ten years, and with Maria being Italian and a great cook, many of my family and friends in the USA, Australia and the UK ask me for advice as to which Italian cookbooks give you a real "taste" of Italy. Finally I have the answer for you - just click here.


The Lasagna

  • 8 oz. Lasagna sheets, cooked (fresh egg pasta sheets are best)
  • 16 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped finely
  • 1 small stick of celery
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • ground black pepper
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • fresh basil sprigs for garnish.

The Bechamel Sauce

  • 1 quart of milk (4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • Pinch of salt, nutmeg and pepper.

Cooking Instructions

Bechamel Sauce

  1. Warm milk - but don't allow it to boil.
  2. Melt butter in another saucepan
  3. Add flour to the butter and whisk until all lumps are gone
  4. Pour in the milk and add in salt, nutmeg and pepper.
  5. Whisk until smooth and creamy

Making your Lasagna

  1.  Cook pasta according to package directions or until tender but still firm. Drain, keep warm.
  2.  To make the sauce, in a large saucepan or cast iron skillet, over medium high high heat, saute the onion in the olive oil for 4 minutes. 
  3. Add the lean beef, celery, a touch of salt and black pepper and cook for 10 minutes. 
  4. Add the wine and cook until the wine is almost evaporated. 
  5. Add tomatoes, reduce heat and simmer sauce 35 to 40 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. I often leave it to simmer for as long as possible as the longer it simmers the tastier it is.
  6.  Grease a 9" x 12" or larger, baking pan. Arrange a first layer of bechamel, a layer of the beef tomato sauce,  a layer of pasta sheets, then a little parmesan.
  7. Add a second alternating layer of bechamel, pasta, beef tomato sauce and parmesan. Repeat until pan is full ending up with a top layer of sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Garnish with fresh basil.

Questions about Lasagna

Question: Is the recipe the traditional lasagne recipe?

Answer: Lasagna is a beloved Italian dish with a rich history that dates back centuries. It is believed to have originated in the region of Emilia-Romagna in Northern Italy, where it was traditionally made with layers of fresh egg pasta sheets, meat sauce, and béchamel sauce. 

Our recipe captures the essence of authentic lasagna by using traditional ingredients and techniques. The use of fresh egg pasta sheets, rather than dried ones adds a delicate texture and authentic flavor to the dish. The combination of ground beef, tomatoes, onions, and celery in the meat sauce creates a hearty and savory filling.

Parmesan cheese, known as the "king of Italian cheeses," brings a rich and nutty flavor to the dish, while the dry white wine adds depth and complexity to the sauce. The use of olive oil as a cooking fat not only enhances the flavors but also reflects the Mediterranean influence in Italian cuisine.

By following this recipe, you are embracing the authentic preparation methods and ingredients that have been passed down through generations. Each layer of pasta, sauce, and cheese comes together to create a harmonious and comforting dish that has stood the test of time.

Remember, though, that while authenticity is important to many, lasagna can also be a versatile dish that allows for personal preferences and adaptations. So feel free to experiment and make it your own while still staying true to the essence of this beloved Italian classic.

Question: How important is the béchamel sauce in lasagne?

Answer: Béchamel sauce is a crucial element in authentic lasagne. It provides a smooth and velvety texture between the layers of pasta and meat sauce, adding richness and depth to the dish.

Question: Is it lasagna or lasagne? What is the difference?

Answer: The difference between "lasagna" and "lasagne" lies in their usage and spelling. Both terms refer to the same dish, but they are used in different contexts.

"Lasagna" is the singular form of the word and is commonly used in American English. It refers to a single piece or serving of the dish. For example, if you order one portion of lasagna at a restaurant, you would use the term "lasagna."

"On the other hand, "lasagne" is the plural form of the word and is commonly used in British English and in Italian. It refers to multiple layers or sheets of pasta used in the dish. When you are talking about the dish as a whole or when referring to multiple servings or pieces, you would use the term "lasagne."

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