Marina Orsini’s Holiday Lasagna Recipe

This article is part of a special edition of Plaisirs

For those who, like Marina Orsini’s mother, want to win the prize for the best lasagna at Christmas!

“I can’t count the times I’ve been asked to make my mother’s lasagna in my life! says Marina Orsini. Here it is finally! It’s the recipe we made with Ricardo, my mother and me. He invited us to his show 20 years ago. One of the rare times he had to make the same method in two parts! They still tell me about it today! To make this and start a long journey of one day (or, two days). The idea is to let your sauces rest to collect the next day. In the mouth, it is a unique and unforgettable experience. »

Preparation : 5 hours (two days!)

Cooking : 3 hours

Psystems : 30 as beginners, 16 to 20 as advanced courses


For the lasagna
1 prepare mini meatball sauce

1 prepare tomato sauce

1 freshly prepared egg pasta

2.2 to 3.3 lb (1 to 1.5 kg) mozzarella, shredded

2 cups (500 mL) Parmesan cheese, grated

6 tbsp. (90 ml) oil

It is possible to divide the recipe by 3 to make lasagna for 10 people (starter) or 6 people (main course).

For mini meatball sauce


3 cans (28 oz/796 ml) crushed tomatoes

½ can 5.5 oz (156 ml) tomato paste

1 ½ cups (375ml) water

2 bay leaves

Dried basil, to taste

Salt and pepper

Mini dumplings

1 ½ lb (750 g) veal

1 ½ lb (750 g) ground pork

2 eggs, lightly beaten

¾ cup (180 ml) Parmesan cheese, finely grated or powdered

¼ cup (60 mL) Italian bread crumbs

1 onion, finely chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

Tomato soup

2 onions, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp. olive oil (30 ml).

1 lb (450 g) pork ribs

3 cans (28 oz/796 ml) crushed tomatoes

½ can 5.5 oz (156 ml) tomato paste

1 cup (250 ml) water

Italian ingredients mixed, to taste

Fresh egg pasta

15 to 16 cups (3.75 to 4 L) all-purpose flour

30 large eggs

¾ cup to 1 cup (180 to 250 ml) olive oil


1. In a large pan on low heat, cook tomatoes, tomato paste, water, bay leaves, basil, salt and pepper.

2. Bring to a boil and simmer gently while you prepare the mini meatballs.

3. In a bowl, combine meat, eggs, Parmesan, breadcrumbs and onion. Salt and pepper.

4. Make meatballs about the size of a 5¢ coin, or ¾ inch (2 cm).

5. Place the meatballs as you go, little by little, in the hot sauce.

6. Cook for about 1 hour 30 minutes on low heat, stirring gently so as not to damage your meat.

7. After cooking, set aside to assemble the lasagna.

8. In a large pan over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in oil.

9. Add the ribs, cook until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, water and Italian spices. Salt and pepper.

10. Cook for about 2 hours on low heat, or until the meat is tender, stirring regularly to prevent sticking.

11. Remove the ribs. (You can enjoy it later, as it just adds flavor to your soup!)

12. Keep assembling the lasagna (or serve it with your favorite pasta, along with the ribs!).

13. In a very large bowl, put the flour.

14. Make a well in the center of the flour.

15. Add the eggs to the center of the well, and add the flour little by little, beating with a fork. After that, you can use your hands.

16. Slowly pouring oil, in the street. Mix well to make a paste.

17. Place the dough on your work surface and knead until smooth.

18. Cover with a clean, slightly damp cloth and let stand for fifteen minutes.

19. Knead again for 3-5 minutes.

20. Cut the dough into 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick slices, flatten slightly.

21. Cut the pieces through a pasta machine (roller), make sure you get a very thin lasagna and the same as your baking dish, except for the first part. For the first layer, my mother made the pasta more than width and length (enough to be made at the end of the lasagna assembly).

22. Spread the lasagna on the table with a cotton cloth or hang them on a broomstick, or even a dryer. Leave to dry for 20 to 35 minutes, otherwise the pasta will be dry and very fragile.

23. In a large pot of salty water (almost like the taste of the sea), cook the pasta for only 3-4 minutes, while the rest will continue in the oven.

24. Drain, cut according to the size of your baking dish and assemble the lasagna.

After it comes out of the boiling water, gently place the pasta in a large bowl of ice water for a few seconds to stop the cooking process. Meanwhile, my mother and I were ready to assemble the lasagna. Don’t wait, because cooked and frozen pasta can spoil.

1. Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C).

2. Grease a large baking pan with long sides (12 in x 18 in x 4 in, or 30 cm x 45 cm x 10 cm). Pour 4 cups of tomato sauce. Also add a few knobs of softened butter.

3. For the first layer only, use long lasagna noodles to line the bottom and sides, about 6 in (15 cm) wide and 12 in (30 cm) long.

4. Continue alternating meatball sauce, lasagna noodles, tomato sauce with parmesan and mozzarella, to have 11 to 17 layers (depending on the cooking dish, this represents 5 to 8 layers of pasta and 6 to 9 layers of sauces and cheese).

5. Finish with tomato sauce, cover with the first pasta from the bottom, like wrapping a gift, add a little sauce and sprinkle mozzarella and parmesan.

6. Cover with foil.

7. Bake on the rack for 1 hour and 50 minutes.

Greedy! My family recipes Marina Orsini, Quebec America Publishing, Montreal, 2022, 248 pages

This special edition was created by the Special Publications group of It should be, related to sales. Preparation for It should be did not participate.

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