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Rosina’s Luscious Lasagna


This traditional recipe includes pasta you can make by hand, or with a pasta machine, but if you’re not up to the adventure, substitute your favourite purchased variety.

Recipe courtesy of Rosina Silvestri-Giansante


For tomato sauce:
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped finely
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 lb (450 g) lean ground beef
  • splash of red or white wine
  • 2 large bottles puréed tomatoes, or 2 lb (900 g) fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, left whole
  • 1 stalk celery, with leaves, left whole
  • oregano, basil, salt, pepper to taste
  • pinch rosemary
For cheese sauce:
  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) butter
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 cups (560 ml) milk
  • 2 cups (500 ml) old white cheddar cheese, grated
  • salt, pepper to taste
For fresh pasta:
  • 3 cups (750 ml) flour
  • pinch salt
  • 4 eggs (1 per person)
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) water
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) freshly grated Parmesan, for sprinkling


  1. For tomato sauce, pour olive oil into pot and sauté garlic and onion until translucent.
  2. Add meat, fry until brown, remove, deglaze pan with wine.
  3. If using fresh tomatoes, blanch, peel, remove seeds. Add tomatoes, meat, stir well.
  4. Add carrot, celery and seasoning. Simmer for at least two hours. Remove carrot, celery. (If desired, keep in freezer for future use.)
  5. For cheese sauce, melt butter in pot over medium heat, remove, stir in flour.
  6. Return to heat, gradually add milk, stir until thickened.
  7.  Add cheese, continue to stir until smooth. Season.
  8. For pasta, mix flour and salt in large bowl, make well in centre. Lightly beat eggs, pour into well. Add more flour as needed to make firm, non-sticky dough. Add water, use fork to draw in flour. Beat gently. When stiff, use hands to form dough into soft ball without air pockets.
  9. Divide dough into six portions, pass through pasta machine or roll by hand.
  10. Drop rectangles into pot of boiling water for two minutes. Remove, drain on tea towel.
  11. In baking pan layer tomato sauce, noodles, cheese sauce, repeat, ending with thin layer of tomato sauce. Top with Parmesan.
  12. Cover with tin foil, bake at 350°F (175°C) for about an hour. Let rest covered with tea towel for about 30 minutes before serving.

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