Since today is Fat Tuesday, which is the last day before the start of Lent, I thought I would share my version of Carnevale Lasagna. Carnevale is the traditional pre-Lenten celebration in Italy, which ends when Lent starts on Ash Wednesday.
Traditionally during Lent, Italian Catholics were not supposed to eat meat during the period of Lent, from Ash Wednesday until Easter. Today, things have changed a bit, and Catholics are only supposed to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and on Fridays during Lent.
The day before Lent was a final day to indulge before the Lenten fast. My Carnevale Lasagna is made with four layers of Lasagna noodles and three layers of meat mixture.
Maria’s Carnevale Lasagna
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
2 pounds ground beef
½ pound Genoa salami chopped
1-teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
3 cups tomato sauce
8 ounces mozzarella cheese
8 ounces ricotta cheese
4 ounces Parmesan cheese grated
8 ounces Lasagna noodles cooked
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
After the butter is melted add the olive oil.
Add the onion to the skillet and sauté for about 10 minutes until soft.
Add the garlic to the skillet and sauté for another 5 minutes.
Add the ground beef and the Genoa salami to the skillet and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes until the beef is no longer pink.
Add the spices to the skillet, mix thoroughly and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
Drain the fat off of the meat mixture and set aside.
Spread about ¼ inch tomato sauce in the bottom of a large baking dish.
Put a layer of the lasagna noodles on top of the sauce.
Spread a third of the meat mixture and mozzarella cheese on top of the noodles.
Dot with a third of the ricotta cheese and finish the layer by sprinkling with Parmesan cheese.
Continue layering the ingredients ending with a layer of lasagna.
Spread about one cup of the tomato sauce over the final layer of lasagna and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.
Serve hot with the leftover tomato sauce.
I hope you enjoy my journey of Italian Cuisine and the Italian recipes that I have collected and saved throughout the years. I am always looking for new, exciting or different Italian recipes, tips and helpful hints. If you have any family Italian recipes that you would like to share with me, I would be happy to share them with the rest of the world.
Con tanto amore – With Lots of Love