HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
What's your latest food project?
TELL US

"Mama Leones" original Lasagna Recipe's., sorry so long.

i
Irwin Koval Aug 31, 2003 05:36 AM

When I worked at "Mama Leone's" Restaurant in NYC we used to prepare 50 Pans of Lasagna every day. We'd prepare mostly "Meat Lasgna",in those days we prepared "Vegetable Lasagna", as well,but Vegetarians were few and far between. We used to make only about 20 Pans a week. But for meatless Friday's we'd prepare as many as 60/70 Pans of "Seafood/Shellfish Lasagna" always a big seller. I'm not aware of any.other restaurant's in New York that made this dish. Many items used may be interchanged for your personal taste. I'll begin with the "Meat Lasgna". I'm sorry that I'm not Computer Competent enough to do recipes in a easier to follow format. If anyone has problems following my attempt, please email me and i'll do my best to assist any Chowhounds.: "MEAT LASAGNA": Starts with Red Sauce: We prepared a basic MARINARA SAUCE as follows: two size 2 1/2 Tin "Chopped Tomatos in Puree". one size 2 1/2 Tin Diced or Chopped Tomatos in Puree. one size 2 1/2 can Tomato Puree. one 12 oz tin Tomato Paste. Combine all Cans together in large Pot or Bowl and stir until mixed. Spices for Marinara: 1/4 cup dried chopped oregano, 1/4 cup dried Thyme, 1/2 cup dried chopped basil. one cup olive oil, one tablespoon white ground pepper, one teaspoon red chili flakes. 1/8 cup granulated sugar. Stir all seasonings into tomato mixture. Vegetables, prepared as follows: 2 cups shredded carrots. 2 cups small diced celery, 2 cups small diced sweet pepper, red, green or whatever. 3 cups small diced onions. 3/4 cup fine diced/chopped garlic. 2 bunches ciliantro or italian parsley, fine diced or chopped, stems included. Heat up Large Saute Pan, with Lid. When Hot add 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil. When oil is hot, add garlic, stirring until it starts to sweat and begins cooking. Try not to let garlic burn. Then place onions into pan, stirring until they are coated with oil. After onions are coated, add remainder of vegtables, stirring until they are cooked and tender with lid on pan. During cooking when they start to brown add one cup white wine. By the time wine is reduced and alcohol boils out your veggies should be ready. Place aside and allow to cool to room temperature. After veggies are cooled, mix throughly with seasoned tomato mixture. Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly as often spices may have been stored to long, with flavor diminished. Your Marinara sauce is ready to be used for Lasgna. No additional cooking is required, as sauce will be cooked together with the Lasagna. Next we set up "PLAIN TOMATO SAUCE", open a 2 1/2 can of regular tomato sauce, hunt's. del-monte, any brand. pour into suitable container. Add one teaspoon sugar, plus 1/8 cup olive oil into tomato sauce, stiring until blended. Next we prepare our "MEAT SAUCE BASE: Meat: 3 pounds Ground Beef, not more the 20% Fat. Veggies: Same amount that we used for the Marinara Sauce. Seasonings: Same as for Marinara Sauce, with 1/3 cup fennel seeds added. Reduced reserved liquid from "Sweet Italian Sausages" preperation method will follow, after meat sauce is prepared. Using large saute pan, with lid, Saute the veggies, as done for marinara sauce, including adding wine. When cooked remove from saute pan into suitable container. In same saute pan, after veggies removed coat bottom of pan with vegetable oil, when hot put the Ground beef into pan stirring and breaking up meat as it cooks, when meat loses it's natural red color and seems to be cooking, try not to let brown. At that point stir in all your vegetable mixture. When the combined mixture starts to heat thru , pour in the reserved reduced broth from the sausage. after this starts to heat thru add one pound of bread crumbs and one full cup of grated parmasan cheese. Mix throughly and allow to cool to room temperature. SAUSAGE PREPERATION: 2 1/2 pounds of fresh "SWEET ITALIAN SAUSAGE": seperate links, by cutting apart. Place links into Pot, after poking them thru casing on both sides 3/4 places with a fork. Cover Sausages with Cold water, or if available chicken or beef stock just to leval of top of sausage. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer about 20 minutes. Remove Sausages from Pot, after they cool place into covered container, then refrigerate. Reduce the remaing sausage flavored liquid, reserve to add into the Meat Sauce as previously mentioned. When Sausages are Cold , remove from Refrigerator, and prepare a sharp knife and cutting board. Slice Sausages, thin, diagonally. As they are cold they will be easy to slice, without falling apart. [that only happens when Sausages are warm, or if your knife is dull. Our next step is preparing our "WHITE SAUCE" for Lasagna. Before we list our ingredients we must prepare our "Roux": 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour. 1 1/2 cups melted whole butter. [not clearified]. Heat the butter in a pan, as butter warms slowly add the flour, stirring constantly. As flour is absorbed into the mixture keep stirring, after lowering heat, until mixture begins to smooth out, becoming a light beige or ivory color. At this point we start to stir in white wine, permitting the wine to keep mixture cooking but slowing down the heat so it doesn't begin to brown or burn. Continue adding wine until everything becomes very smooth, and thins down slightly. At that point remove from heat and scrape finished Roux into seperate container, as if it remains in pot may start to brown. Prepare 1 cup grated "Kassari Cheese", 1 1/2 cup grated parmasan cheese, 1 cup grated Mozzeralla cheese. Reserve all Cheeses. Have opened bottle of "White Wine". 1/2 Gallon of "Whole Milk". Place milk into large pot, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. As soon as milk boils, remove from heat, addind a spash of wine to stop boil. Take your "Roux" mixture and begin stirring, adding some wine until it's easy to stir. Place milk back on heat, as it begins to bubble, but before returning to a boil begin adding the Roux slowly, while being sure to continue stirring the milk. As Roux and Milk become blened it will begin to thicken, as it become thicker and ricer put all the cheese into the pot , keep stirring, as cheese melts, and mixture thickens, add wine to lower temperature and prevent burning. When mixture of cheese , wine, and milk, thins down into a smooth sauce texture , remove from heat and pour into container to cool. cover container with plastic wrap, then foil to prevent crusting of your WHITE CHEESE WINE SAUCE. Next Step we prepare our; "CHEESE, EGG, WHITE WINE CHEESE SAUCE and SPINICH MIXTURE". Ingredients: one dozen large eggs, broken and stirred with whip, placed into container. 2 pounds frozen chopped spinich, allowed to thaw. Drain liquid from spinich. After draining place spinich into clean towel, or cheese cloth. and twist as tightly as possable until all fluid in spinich is sqeezed out. place Spinich into bowl. Chop fine one bunch "Curly Parsley" and one bunch "Italian Parsley". After Chopping Parsleys mix together with Spinich. Add on Teaspoon of Grated Nutmeg to greens and mix throughly. Next item is 2 Quarts of Riccota Cheese, put into Bowl and Whip until semi-creamy. add egg mixture, spinich parsley mixture, and enough of your White Cream Sauce to makes a Spreadable thick textured mixture. Next step is Mix Marinara Sauce togther with Meat Sauce Base. Generally works right with 1/3 Meat Sauce Mixture, mixed with 2/3 Marinara Sauce Mixture. Amount of each should be adjusted to your personal taste as some like a richer meat flavor, while others may prefer more tomato taste. At Leones it was generally two parts tomato marinara to one part meat base. We used to Grated Parmasan Cheese into the meats sauce for texture and flavor. You may have noticed that we haven't used any salt. as the Parmasan Cheese is salty enough, those being served the Lasagna may add salt to taste. Next step is the Lasagna Sheets or Dried Pasta, whatever you prefer, we used Dry imported Pasta Sheets, similar to Barilla, that cooked a la dente, didn't stick, and were easy to layer and cover the pan, between fillings. The type we used were special ordered. sized for our Pans, larger then most retail pasta, but when we ran out we'd make due with any wide noodle, rippled or straight as long as it layered smoothly. Last step before Layering and filling the pans with the Lasagna, was to completely coat the insides, bottom, actually all surfaces that will contact the Lasagna with Cold Butter or Solid Fats, similar to Crisco with a thin coating. Finally we'll start assembling our Lasagna: PLace Pre-coated pan on flat surface. Coat Bottom of pan with your Tomato Sauce, olive oil and sugar mixture, moving around until whole bottom is nicely covered. Next start to cover bottom of pan with the Pasta. After pasta covers bottom, then cover with your Marinara/Meat sauce mixture, about 1/2 inch thick, Lay another level of Pasta to cover. Then add your Cheese, Egg, s pinich White Sauce Mixture about 1/2 inch thick. Next cover your Base mixture with a layer of the sliced Italian Sausages, after Sausages cover your Base, then Cover Sausage with your Marinara Sauce and cover with another layer of Pasta, Repeat with Meat Sauce Mixture. this level cover top of Meat Sauce with thin slices of Mozzarella Cheese. Cover again with Layer of Pasta, But place Thin Slices of Mozzarela Cheese on top of Marinara Sauce. Repeat again, without adding Mozzarella Cheese until Pan is Almost full to top, them we place final layer of pasta. cover with Mozzarella Slices, them put Marinara Sauce on top of Cheese. Then we put a thin coating of the Tomato Sauce and Sprikle Surface lightly with Grated Kassari Cheese and Bake in pre-warmed 375 Degree Oven until Top becomes slightly bubbley and Brown. Remove From Oven and allow to set for about 20/30 minutes, with knife or narrow thin spatula, cut into individual portions, serve immediately or place into cassaroles to heat in oven to order. This may be after cooling down covered in refrigerator, individually double wrapped in good quality plastic wrapped and frozed, thaw until just warm in microwave, then place in cassarole and finish in oven, my kids never bothered, just took out of plastic, covered up and zapped again and enjoyed. These basic ingredients are utilized with layered prepared veggies, such as eggplant, zuccinni, yellow squash, kale, spring onions, broccli rabe, cauliflower, mushroom slices and whatever, all pre-prepared a la dente. The seafood lasagna used firm white fish such as Mahi-Mahi, Orange Roughy, Seabass, Halibut [the best] or even Salmon, [We didn't use only because it's not italian?], Shrimps peeled, and Scallops. You may wish to add Clam Meat, Lobster or Squid, anything goes as long as you enjoy. Since this has taken so long, unless Chowhound approves I won't provide all the details for the variations, However if anyone emails me with what type of Lasagna they want to prepare i'll be happy to advise how to assemble the ingredients, as the basic's are all included with this recipe, the differences are due to customizing each Lasagna your way. Hope this does meets your satisfaction. Once you've put it all together it not that difficult, when you eat your results, I hope it was woth the wait and you all enjoy. Hope this wasn't Chowhounds longest posting.My one finger typing tool says it's my longest anything ever. Irwin [Sorry no Spell Checker or Carefull Editing}

  1. a
    Aubrey11 Oct 22, 2013 05:33 AM

    Hi Irwin. Can you advise me on how to cook Mama Leone's chicken cacciatore? I have the recipe but cannot make it like my mom use to.Please help!

    1. g
      Gwenevere1946 Feb 8, 2008 11:09 AM

      I know this is an old post, but the last time I ate at Mama Leones Restaurant, the lasagna was wonderful and it had so many homemade layers. The lasagna noodles were so thin and wonderful. This restaurant was open later that the indicated closing date mentioned in the history as I think I was back there in the 80's so soomeone else must have been running it at that time. I got the 7 or 8 course special dinner and I loved it! Do you have a recipe for those thin lasagna noodles?

      1. b
        bunnyr Sep 2, 2003 11:56 PM

        Wow wow wow!

        An aside...

        In 1974 as part of a Metropolitan Opera day at the private high school I went to in Greenwich CT, we went to see Mozart's "Don Giovanni" and then went out to eat at.... Mama Leone's! I still remember the bright white and red tablecloths and the huge portions. They MUST have been huge to impress a high school junior boy like me! It was by far the most fun part of "Opera Day". Hard to believe I became a musician after this trip, but I did! All I remember is that everyone seemed to be singing "Potaaaato!" real loud and that a statue talked back and became a real fire hazard. (Now I enjoy opera much more.)

        1. t
          TatyanaM Sep 2, 2003 11:14 PM

          Irwin: I printed out your recipe on Sunday morning, when shopping and after 3 stops put everything together. Borrowed several pans from my neighbors, plus 2 friends assisted in preperation. Only thing needed to buy more Lasagna Sheets, 2 pounds are not enough. We had a ball, made some wine spritzers to keep us giggly, but finally finshed up with everything at 7:00 PM, left it out to cool, and we went to Tran Brothers for Pho. After we returned we cut it into what seemed fair portions, came out with about 40, as we made some mistakes that required cooks testing. Packed it up and took it to a Labor Day Family get together. We wound up with No leftovers, there were counting kids about 30 people. The biggest complaint was that the "Lasagna" should have been all in the deeper pans, there were 2 that were 6 inch deep, that was incredable. The 4 inches deep were okay, but the 2 1/2 inches deep eaters, felt cheated, so if you make it try for deeper pans, but cut smaller pieces. I've had to print and copy recipes, thanks for the most recent set up. Thank you again, Irwin as it made me feel like I was special, since everyone expected me to bring some wine or drinks, maybe dessert, but this year I brought the main coarse.

          1. d
            DodinBouffant Sep 2, 2003 12:14 PM

            I wonder if the Army will let us use the Mess Hall at West Point to try and put this together... oh yeah and about 30 enlistees to wash all the containers, pots and pans...

            a very interesting read at the very least and I'm sure it took forever to type

            Gene Leone published a cookbook in 1967 with recipes from Leone's with a few simpler versions of the lasagna if anyone is interested in checking that out...the book begins with a wonderful short story about the history of the restaurant and a foreword by President Eisenhower

            1. t
              TomSwift Sep 1, 2003 01:09 PM

              Thanks Irwin!

              1. t
                Tom Steele Sep 1, 2003 10:26 AM

                I've tweaked this vast recipe, corrected the onion amount(s), included Irwin's pan-size remarks, and included Karl S.'s complete ingredient list at the beginning of the recipe. As for how many people this would serve, as always that depends on appetites, portion sizes, and how many Italians are present.

                Happy Labor Day, and Buon Appetito!


                Irwin Koval’s Lasagna alla Mama Leone’s

                When I worked at Mama Leone's restaurant in NYC, we used to prepare 50 pans of lasagna every day. We'd prepare mostly meat lasagna—in those days, we prepared vegetable lasagna as well, but Vegetarians were few and far between, so we’d make only about 20 pans of that a week. But for meatless Friday's we'd prepare as many as 60 to 70 Pans of seafood/shellfish lasagna—always a big seller. I'm not aware of any other restaurant's in New York that made this dish. Many ingredients used may be interchanged for your personal taste.

                Meat Lasagna

                First, here’s a COMPLETE, all-in-one-place ingredients list, compiled by Karl S:

                Two 28 oz. cans chopped tomatoes in purée
                One 28-oz. can tomato purée
                12 oz. can tomato paste
                1 28-oz. can tomato sauce (such as Hunt’s, Del Monte or Muir Glen)

                1.5 cups finely chopped garlic, divided in halves
                6 cups (yes, 6 cups) finely diced onion, divided in halves
                4 cups shredded carrots, divided in halves
                4 cups finely diced celery, divided in halves
                4 cups diced red and/or green bell pepper, divided in halves
                5 bunches Italian (flat) parsley, finely diced, stems included; divided 2/2/1 ratio
                1 bunch “curly” parsley, chopped

                2 lbs. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained, squeezed dry

                1 + 1/8 cup olive oil, separated
                3 cups vegetable oil, divided in halves

                2 cups dry white wine, divided in halves
                1 bottle dry white wine

                1/2 cup dried oregano, divided in halves
                1/2 cup dried thyme, divided in halves
                1 cup dried basil, divided in halves
                2 tablespoons ground white pepper, separated
                2 teaspoons red chili flakes, separated
                1/3 cup fennel seeds
                1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
                4 tablespoons, separated in halves, + 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, separated

                2.5 lbs of fresh sweet Italian sausage
                Chicken/beef broth to cover the sausages in a skillet
                3 lbs. ground chuck
                Reserved, reduced stock from boiling the sausages, above

                1 lb. plain bread crumbs
                1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
                2 lbs. imported dried lasagna noodles, such as Barilla or De Cecco

                1 cup + 1.5 cups freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano, separated
                1 lb unsalted butter (3 sticks melted, 1 stick at room temperature)
                2 cups freshly grated kasseri cheese, separated in halves
                1 cup mozzarella cheese, freshly grated
                2 lbs mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
                1/2 gallon whole milk
                2 quarts fresh ricotta cheese
                1 dozen large eggs, whisked to blend in


                And now, the recipe, with the ingredients broken down for each procedure:

                Marinara Sauce:
                Two 28 oz. cans chopped tomatoes in purée
                One 28-oz. can tomato purée
                12 oz. tomato paste
                1/4 cup dried oregano
                1/4 cup dried thyme
                1/2 cup dried basil
                1 cup olive oil
                1 tablespoon ground white pepper
                1 teaspoon red chile flakes
                1/8 cup granulated sugar
                3/4 cup finely chopped garlic
                3 cups finely diced onion
                2 cups shredded carrots
                2 cups finely diced celery
                2 cups diced red and/or green bell pepper
                2 bunches cilantro or Italian parsley, finely diced, stems included
                1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
                1 cup dry white wine

                Combine tomatoes, purée, and paste in a very large bowl and stir until mixed well. Stir the oregano, thyme, basil, olive oil, white pepper, chile flakes, and sugar into the tomato mixture.

                Place a large sauté pan with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, pour in the vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and cook just until the garlic is golden brown. Add the onions and stir well, then add the carrots, celery, bell peppers, and parsley, cover the pan, and cook until vegetables are tender. When the vegetables start to brown, carefully add the cup of white wine. By the time the wine boils down, the vegetables should be ready. Bring them to room temperature, then stir them into the tomato mixture. Taste and adjust seasoning.

                Plain Tomato Sauce:

                1 28-oz. can tomato sauce (such as Hunt’s or Del Monte or Muir Glen)
                1 teaspoon sugar
                1/8 cup olive oil

                Blend the tomato sauce, sugar, and olive oil in a medium bowl.

                Sausage:
                2 1/2 lbs/ of fresh sweet Italian sausge,
                separated into links and jabbed all over with a fork
                Enough chicken or beef stock to cover the sausages in a skillet

                Place sausages in a skillet large enough to hold them in a single layer. Cover with the stock, bring to the boil, and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Remove the sausages from the stock with tongs, place them in a large bowl, cover them, and refrigerate. Reduce the sausage-flavored stock by half, reserve to add into the meat sauce below. When sausages have cooled, slice them into thin crosswise slices, on the bias.

                Meat Sauce Base:
                1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
                3/4 cup finely chopped garlic
                3 cups finely diced onion
                2 cups shredded carrots
                2 cups finely diced celery
                2 cups diced red and/or green bell pepper
                2 bunches cilantro or Italian parsley, finely diced, stems included
                1 cup wine
                3 lbs. ground chuck
                1/4 cup dried oregano
                1/4 cup dried thyme
                1/2 cup dried basil
                1 tablespoon ground white pepper
                1 teaspoon red chile flakes
                1/8 cup granulated sugar
                1/3 cup fennel seeds
                Reserved, reduced stock from boiling the sausages, above
                1 lb. bread crumbs
                1 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano

                In another large sauté pan with a tight-fitting lid, cook the vegetables in the vegetable oil the same way as for the marinara sauce above, including adding the cup of wine and reducing at the end. When cooked, place vegetables in a large bowl.

                Wipe out the pan, add 2 tablespoon vegetable oil and place over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and sauté, stirring and breaking up large clumps, just until the meat loses its raw red color, then add the vegetable mixture and stir well. When the mixture is heated through, stir in the reserved, reduced stock from the sausage, and the bread crumbs and grated parmigiano-reggiano. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature.

                White Sauce:
                1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
                1 1/2 cups melted butter
                1 bottle dry white wine
                1 cup freshly grated kasseri cheese
                1 1/2 cups freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano
                1 cup freshly grated mozzarella cheese
                1/2 gallon whole milk

                Make a roux: Heat the butter in a saucepan, then slowly add the flour, stirring constantly. As the flour is absorbed, lower the heat and stir steadfastly until the mixture becomes a light beige color. Stir in 1 cup of the wine, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring, until the mixture thins out slightly. Scrape roux into a medium bowl.

                In another bowl, blend the three cheeses and set aside. Pour the milk into a large pot and bring to the boil over medium-high heat, stirring. Remove from the heat and add a splash of wine to stop the boiling.

                Stir the roux, adding a little wine until it stirs easily. Return milk to medium-high heat, and the moment it begins to bubble slightly—before it comes to a rolling boil—lower the heat to medium and begin stirring in the roux, 1/4 cup at a time. Stir constantly, and when the mixture thickens, stir in the cheese mixture, a handful at a time, adding a little wine to lower the temperature and prevent sticking or burning.

                When you’ve melted the cheese and thickened the sauce, remove from the heat and carefully pour it into a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, gently pressing the wrap directly onto the surface of the sauce. Let cool.

                Cheese, Egg, White Wine Cheese Sauce, and Spinach Mixture:
                2 lbs. frozen chopped spinach,
                thawed and thoroughly drained, squeezed dry in a clean cotton towel
                1 bunch “curly” parsley, chopped
                1 bunch Italian “flat” parsley, chopped
                1 teaspon freshly grated nutmeg
                2 quarts fresh ricotta cheese
                1 dozen large eggs, whisked to blend in a very large bowl

                In a large bowl, mix the dried spinach with the parsleys. Stir in the grated nutmeg and mix well.

                Whisk the ricotta into the eggs until creamy, then mix in the spinach and enough of the white sauce to make a spreadable, but still thickly textured, mixture.

                Now mix two parts marinara sauce to one part meat sauce base, or to taste, adding parmigiano-reggiano to taste.

                Assemble the lasagna:
                2 lbs. imported dried lasagna noodles, such as Barilla or De Cecco
                1/4 lb. unsalted butter, at room temperature
                2 lbs. fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
                1 cup grated kasseri cheese

                In a huge kettle over high heat, bring 8-10 quarts of salted water to the boil. Cook the lasagna noodles according to the manufacturer’s instructions, not past al dente. Drain well and rinse to prevent further cooking (and sticking).

                Heat oven to 375 degrees. Coat the entire inside of a suitable rectangular lasagna pan (or two) with the butter. (Since most pans that home cooks use for Lasagna have varying heights and widths, just keep going until you fill up one pan, then grab the next size and fill it up as well. Because lasagna freezes well or keeps okay under refrigeration, tasting even better the next time, size doesn't matter, only the eating.) Slick the bottom of the pan with the tomato sauce/olive oil/sugar mixture, moving the pan around until the bottom is nicely covered. Cover the sauce with a layer of lasagna noodles, then cover the noodles with the meat/marinara mixture, about a 1/2-inch layer. Next comes another layer of lasagna noodles, then a layer of the cheese/egg/spinach/white sauce mixture, again in about a 1/2-inch layer.

                Now add a layer of the base mixture, then a layer of sliced sausages, then a layer of marinara sauce. Next comes another layer of lasagna noodles, then a layer of the meat sauce mixture. Cover the meat sauce with thin slices of mozzarella, followed by a layer of pasta, followed by a layer of marinara sauce, followed by a mozzarella layer. Repeat with layers of noodles and marinara (no cheese) until you reach the top of the pan. Cover the final layer of pasta with mozzarella, and smear the cheese with a final marinara saucing. Add a thin coating of the tomato sauce, and sprinkle with the kasseri cheese.

                Bake the lasagna until the top becomes slightly bubbly and brown. Remove from the oven and let rest for 20-30 minutes. Cut into individual portions and serve immediately.

                These basic ingredients are utilized with layered prepared veggies, such as eggplant, zuccinni, yellow squash, kale, spring onions, broccoli rabe, cauliflower, mushroom slices, and whatever, all pre-cooked—steamed, boiled, or sautéed—al dente. The seafood lasagna used firm white fish such as mahi-mahi, orange roughy, sea bass, halibut (the best), or even salmon (which we didn't use only because it's not particularly Italian), peeled shrimp, and scallops. You may wish to add minced clams, lobster, or squid—anything goes as long as you enjoy.

                Since this has taken so long, I won't provide all the details for the variations. But if you e-mail me to tell me what type of lasagna you want to prepare, I'll be happy to advise you on how to assemble the ingredients. The basics are all included with this recipe. Once you've put it all together, it’s not that difficult. When you devour your results, I hope you’ll find it worth the effort and the wait, and that you all enjoy. Hope this wasn't Chowhound’s longest post! My one finger typing tool says it's my longest anything ever.

                Irwin Koval
                wesza@yahoo.com

                7 Replies
                1. re: Tom Steele
                  d
                  djk Sep 1, 2003 10:53 AM

                  Mille grazie.....that was heroic.

                  1. re: Tom Steele
                    s
                    scott Sep 1, 2003 11:11 AM

                    Please, on the AVERAGE, does this serve 25? 50? 100? How many would this have served at the restaurant, where portions are regulated? A ballpark estimate would be appreciated.

                    1. re: Tom Steele
                      s
                      Sharuf Sep 1, 2003 11:19 AM

                      Eyeballing the ingredients, it looks like it would serve about 20 customers.

                      1. re: Tom Steele
                        c
                        ChrissieH Sep 1, 2003 12:25 PM

                        I want to add my heart-felt "thank yous" to all of you that contributed to the final copy of this remarkable recipe.

                        It was clearly done from a motive of pure generosity of spirit.

                        And I am grateful.

                        1. re: ChrissieH
                          t
                          TrishUntrapped Sep 1, 2003 01:38 PM

                          To quote a certain FN chef... This lasagna recipe is a food of love.... My next big party, I'm making it, just gotta see how it comes out. THANK YOU IRWIN!

                        2. re: Tom Steele
                          k
                          Karl S. Sep 1, 2003 02:42 PM

                          Irwin, a thousand thanks!

                          This is the kind of lasagna one serves at Thanksgiving (the kind of Thanksgiving where there is the turkey meal and another lasagne meal!) or Christmas, with nonna delegating (and overseeing) the various parts to the different crews of family -- with the heavy lifting being done by her daughter(s)-in-law...

                          The reason I assembled the ingredients was because I was trying to comprehend the logistics. When I was growing up in a large family, we would have actually had most of these things on hand in quantity. Now, even with a full chowhound pantry, that is less so, shall we say.

                          Still, I am curious to try this out: the quartermaster general in me is very intrigued.

                          1. re: Tom Steele
                            i
                            Irwin Koval Sep 1, 2003 05:12 PM

                            TOM: Truly thank you so much for your kindness To the "Chowhounds" who attempt to put together my attempt for home preperation of " Mama Leones Lasanga Recipe". It will probably be enough for at least 36 generous portions. If you wish to prepare for just 8/12 hungry eaters at one sitting try and divide by 3 approximately. With use of your freezer or for a special occasion do the whole thing. Clean up once, cook once and be ready for a party. It's harder then I anticipated to attempt to bring down recipes for 400/500 portions for home preperation, but i've never attempted to prepare less then what I provided for Chowhounds, Just didn't realize that what normal for my family may be overwhelming to others. But as i've stated previously email me your criteria, especially for the Seafood versions as this is serious $$$$, with different ways to to prepare, with more or less tomatos or even none. I'll attempt to make it special for everyone as I respect food and everyone who enjoys eating. Your request will be my pleasure. I'm hoping that whomever attempts to do "Do the whole thing" allows me to tweak the results to make it more better for everyone. I really love to eat and enjoy trying to make it special for everyone. Irwin

                          2. 2
                            2chez mike Sep 1, 2003 05:17 AM

                            I appreciate the original "Mama Leones" lasagna recipes. However, I think something may have been lost, in the translation, in the "Edited, Re-Formatted,CORRECTED" version.

                            1. c
                              ChrissieH Sep 1, 2003 12:45 AM

                              I have the Original Mama Leone's Cookbook, but haven't been able to find it around my house lately. I've misplaced it, it seems.

                              But I'm wondering: Do you know if this is the same recipe that is in the book???

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: ChrissieH
                                i
                                Irwin Koval Sep 1, 2003 02:59 AM

                                This is the recipe for the Lasagna that was traditionaly served at "Mama Leones", except for the final few years. This recipe is completely different then the cookbooks. The majority of recipes used in the cookbook were pretty much adapted for what was considered at the time and date of publication conservative exotic "Italian Food". The general population wasn't even accustomed to "Pizza" as regular food. Delivered, you must be nuts. What's SALSA? America, was very different. We should check when America discovered "North Italian Food", seems only yesterday when "Tuscany" arrived. It's sort of like when we only had "Chop Suey Restaurant's", next was Cantonese, and so on, so on. Isn't eating all over the world in your neighborhood what America's about. Irwin

                              2. i
                                Irwin Koval Aug 31, 2003 08:50 PM

                                Thanks to our Chowhound Royalty Princes both: "Tom" and "Karl S" for putting the recipe into a more user friendly format. However both of you made a slight mistake. This is understandable, except if someone actually prepares the Lasagna, missing most of the Onions required, i'll be sent to Chowhound, Purgatory forced to eat only at chain restaurant's "Jim Leff", considers Devilish. I tried emailing Tom, hoping he could edit his post, but Karl S posted with no email address, I had to tell all would be cookers that there was a "TYPO", in the easy to follow directions they posted the amount of Onions required for "Marinara" and "Meat Sauce" recipes. The correct amount for both is as I originally posted 3 Cups Diced Onions. Don't forget that the Italians were brillent enough to realize that No one need suffer Onion Breath, Garlic Breath or a Combo, even Heartburn or Ojada, when eating Onions or Garlic, when combined with Cilantro, Italian Parsley and Curly Parsley. It really Work's everytime, so consider this information as a reward for reading my posts. Also so far as "Pan Size", is concerned, since most pans that home cooks use for Lasagna have varying heights and widths, just keep going until you full up, then grab the next size, full up again. As the Lasagna freezes well or keeps okay under refrigeration, even tasting better next time the size doesn't matter, only the eating.

                                9 Replies
                                1. re: Irwin Koval
                                  s
                                  scott Sep 1, 2003 08:48 AM

                                  And, um, exactly how many servings does this recipe provide?

                                  1. re: Irwin Koval
                                    b
                                    bryan Sep 1, 2003 08:41 PM

                                    Hi Irwin. Cilantro? Really? It seems so much larger a flavor than Italian parsley. I never thought of them as being interchangable.

                                    1. re: bryan
                                      i
                                      Irwin Koval Sep 1, 2003 11:47 PM

                                      Bryan: Considering "Chowhounds" from differnt parts of the country may wish to try to prepare this recipe. I felt that in many places "Italian Parsley" or "Chinese Parsley" may not be available, where "Cilantro", has become the most well known Flat Leaf Parsley available. There would not be any appreciable variation in the cooked Lasagna, whatever type was used. I also took under consideration the the size of a "Bunch" of all types of Parsley is also different in almost every store. Everything should be adjusted to your personal preferances, taste as you make, after all your cooking to enjoy. Irwin

                                      1. re: Irwin Koval
                                        p
                                        Pat Goldberg Sep 2, 2003 06:34 AM

                                        Irwin,

                                        I don't think this is correct. Chinese parsley and cilantro are, I believe, synonomous. And while flat leaf parsley is less available than the curly leaf kind, it is surely easier to find than cilantro -- and with a very different flavor.

                                        Regards,

                                        Pat G.

                                      2. re: bryan
                                        k
                                        Karl S. Sep 2, 2003 06:34 AM

                                        Marcella Hazan would shudder at the substitution, but there are people who love cilantro, so there you go. On the other hand, I would never include cilantro in a recipe for a main dish for a large crowd, because about 20-25% of people are likely to have a palate sensitivity that makes the cilantro taste like soap.

                                        1. re: Karl S.
                                          i
                                          Irwin Koval Sep 2, 2003 10:41 PM

                                          Karl S, Pat ans Others: When I was Working At "Leones", we received 500/700 Bunches twice a week of "Flat Leafed Parsley". We of course prefered , "Italian Parsley", but due to the volume of our use, we often had to accept several other varieties, including Cilantro. Since our use was in the type of recipe, with Curley Parsley and Spinich, plus loads of Onions, Garlic, Pepper and Celery. "Leone",felt that in Lasanga as we prepared it, that it made no noticable difference in the finished product. He felt we were the biggest in house Parsley, whatever customer. Since we used it, I also included the Cilantro. I should have suggested more Pasta then 2 pounds, as for the amount of ingredients 4/6 pounds may be required. It was difficult to get the volumes together as we measured our sheets from 25 pound cartons. Someone also made mention of the "Cookbook" written during the 1960's. It was told to me that the majority of recipes, were put together without the special pazzzz, or definate Southern Italian Character, as example there wasn't as much emphasis on seasonings, especialy garlic, red pepper flakes, even wine or olive oil, since it was toned down for the readers[?] taste in editing. If I was more experienced in taking institutional recipes into family size, i'm curious if there are computer programs that compute this. I've never utilized formula recipes, except in baking, [Leone considered Lasanga as a Baked Item] as in restaurant kitchens, you try to provide consistancy in taste, which requires Chefs tasting and finesse, as most times even using the same or similar items there is often variation, so it must be tweaked, adjusted, or prepared differently, so as to achive the closest taste to what your customer expects when served. If your not able to achive success, apologize, but don't serve it to your customer unless it's 100%. Irwin

                                        2. re: bryan
                                          b
                                          bryan Sep 3, 2003 10:35 PM

                                          O.K. Made red sauce for dinner tonight and decided to divide and conquer. In two cups went minced Italian parsley. In another two cups went minced cilantro. Two tablespoons apiece. The taste was significantly different. While both tasted fresh and green (I do make a damn fine red sauce IMHO) the cilantro was overpowering and gave it a less "Italian" taste. I'll stick to parsley from here on in.

                                          But thanks for the fine recipe nonetheless Irwin. Will make it as soon as it gets cold again.

                                          Regards,

                                          Barbara

                                          1. re: bryan
                                            t
                                            TR Sep 4, 2003 07:31 AM

                                            If I were to use cilantro in an Italian sauce, which I wouldn't, I'd use much less than the amount set aside for parsley.

                                            Hence, if anyone MUST use cilantro, use only a little bit and taste as you go.

                                            1. re: TR
                                              b
                                              bryan Sep 4, 2003 02:41 PM

                                              Normally I wouldn't use cilantro in a red sauce at all. I was going under Irwin's premise that the two were interchangeable, hence, using the same amounts. Live and learn.

                                      3. t
                                        Tom Steele Aug 31, 2003 12:53 PM

                                        Irwin, you're a prince! The fact that you typed all that with one finger inspired me to adapt it into a more-or-less standard recipe format (I've edited and authored cookbooks). I hope I got everything right--I added a few little suggestions here and there. It was kind of touch-and-go at the end. But I hope this helps. And thank you so much, Irwin!

                                        Irwin's Lasagna alla Mama Leone

                                        When I worked at Mama Leone's restaurant in NYC, we used to prepare 50 pans of lasagna every day. We'd prepare mostly "Meat Lasgna",in those days we prepared "Vegetable Lasagna", as well,but Vegetarians were few and far between. We used to make only about 20 Pans a week. But for meatless Friday's we'd prepare as many as 60/70 Pans of "Seafood/Shellfish Lasagna" always a big seller. I'm not aware of any.other restaurant's in New York that made this dish. Many items used may be interchanged for your personal taste. I'll begin with the "Meat Lasgna".

                                        Meat Lasagna

                                        Marinara Sauce:
                                        Two 28 oz. cans chopped tomatoes in purée
                                        One 28-oz. can tomato purée
                                        12 oz. tomato paste
                                        1/4 cup dried oregano
                                        1/4 cup dried thyme
                                        1/2 cup dried basil
                                        1 cup olive oil
                                        1 tablespoon ground white pepper
                                        1 teaspoon red chile flakes
                                        1/8 cup granulated sugar
                                        3/4 cup finely chopped garlic
                                        3/4 cup finely diced onion
                                        2 cups shredded carrots
                                        2 cups finely diced celery
                                        2 cups diced red and/or green bell pepper
                                        2 bunches cilantro or Italian parsley, finely diced, stems included
                                        1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
                                        1 cup dry white wine

                                        Combine tomatoes, purée, and paste in a very large bowl and stir until mixed well. Stir the oregano, thyme, basil, olive oil, white pepper, chile flakes, and sugar into the tomato mixture.

                                        Place a large sauté pan with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, pour in the vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and cook just until the garlic is golden brown. Add the onions and stir well, then add the carrots, celery, bell peppers, and parsley, cover the pan, and cook until vegetables are tender. When the vegetables start to brown, carefully add the cup of white wine. By the time the wine boils down, the vegetables should be ready. Bring them to room temperature, then stir them into the tomato mixture. Taste and adjust seasoning.

                                        Plain Tomato Sauce:

                                        1 28-oz. can tomato sauce (such as Hunt’s or Del Monte or Muir Glen)
                                        1 teaspoon sugar
                                        1/8 cup olive oil

                                        Blend the tomato sauce, sugar, and olive oil in a medium bowl.

                                        Sausage:
                                        2 1/2 lbs/ of fresh sweet Italian sausge,
                                        separated into links and jabbed all over with a fork
                                        Enough chicken or beef stock to cover the sausages in a skillet

                                        Place sausages in a skillet large enough to hold them in a single layer. Cover with the stock, bring to the boil, and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Remove the sausages from the stock with tongs, place them in a large bowl, cover them, and refrigerate. Reduce the sausage-flavored stock by half, reserve to add into the meat sauce below. When sausages have cooled, slice them into thin crosswise slices, on the bias.

                                        Meat Sauce Base:
                                        1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
                                        3/4 cup finely chopped garlic
                                        3/4 cup finely diced onion
                                        2 cups shredded carrots
                                        2 cups finely diced celery
                                        2 cups diced red and/or green bell pepper
                                        2 bunches cilantro or Italian parsley, finely diced, stems included
                                        1 cup wine
                                        3 lbs. ground chuck
                                        1/4 cup dried oregano
                                        1/4 cup dried thyme
                                        1/2 cup dried basil
                                        1 tablespoon ground white pepper
                                        1 teaspoon red chile flakes
                                        1/8 cup granulated sugar
                                        1/3 cup fennel seeds
                                        Reserved, reduced stock from boiling the sausages, above
                                        1 lb. bread crumbs
                                        1 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano

                                        In another large sauté pan with a tight-fitting lid, cook the vegetables in the vegetable oil the same way as for the marinara sauce above, including adding the cup of wine and reducing at the end. When cooked, place vegetables in a large bowl.

                                        Wipe out the pan, add 2 tablespoon vegetable oil and place over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and sauté, stirring and breaking up large clumps, just until the meat loses its raw red color, then add the vegetable mixture and stir well. When the mixture is heated through, stir in the reserved, reduced stock from the sausage, and the bread crumbs and grated parmigiano-reggiano. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature.

                                        White Sauce:
                                        1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
                                        1 1/2 cups melted butter
                                        1 bottle dry white wine
                                        1 cup freshly grated kasseri cheese
                                        1 1/2 cups freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano
                                        1 cup freshly grated mozzarella cheese
                                        1/2 gallon whole milk

                                        Make a roux: Heat the butter in a saucepan, then slowly add the flour, stirring constantly. As the flour is absorbed, lower the heat and stir steadfastly until the mixture becomes a light beige color. Stir in 1 cup of the wine, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring, until the mixture thins out slightly. Scrape roux into a medium bowl.

                                        In another bowl, blend the three cheeses and set aside. Pour the milk into a large pot and bring to the boil over medium-high heat, stirring. Remove from the heat and add a splash of wine to stop the boiling.

                                        Stir the roux, adding a little wine until it stirs easily. Return milk to medium-high heat, and the moment it begins to bubble slightly—before it comes to a rolling boil—lower the heat to medium and begin stirring in the roux, 1/4 cup at a time. Stir constantly, and when the mixture thickens, stir in the cheese mixture, a handful at a time, adding a little wine to lower the temperature and prevent sticking or burning.

                                        When you’ve melted the cheese and thickened the sauce, remove from the heat and carefully pour it into a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, gently pressing the wrap directly onto the surface of the sauce. Let cool.

                                        Cheese, Egg, White Wine Cheese Sauce, and Spinach Mixture:
                                        2 lbs. frozen chopped spinach,
                                        thawed and thoroughly drained, squeezed dry in a clean cotton towel
                                        1 bunch “curly” parsley, chopped
                                        1 bunch Italian “flat” parsley, chopped
                                        1 teaspon freshly grated nutmeg
                                        2 quarts fresh ricotta cheese
                                        1 dozen large eggs, whisked to blend in a very large bowl

                                        In a large bowl, mix the dried spinach with the parsleys. Stir in the grated nutmeg and mix well.

                                        Whisk the ricotta into the eggs until creamy, then mix in the spinach and enough of the white sauce to make a spreadable, but still thickly textured, mixture.

                                        Now mix two parts marinara sauce to one part meat sauce base, or to taste, adding parmigiano-reggiano to taste.

                                        Assemble the lasagna:
                                        2 lbs. imported dried lasagna noodles, such as Barilla or De Cecco
                                        1/4 lb. unsalted butter, at room temperature
                                        2 lbs. fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
                                        1 cup grated kasseri cheese

                                        In a huge kettle over high heat, bring 8-10 quarts of salted water to the boil. Cook the lasagna noodles according to the manufacturer’s instructions, not past al dente. Drain well and rinse to prevent further cooking (and sticking).

                                        Heat oven to 375 degrees. Coat the entire inside of a suitable rectangular lasagna pan (or two) with the butter. Coat the bottom of the pan with the tomato sauce/olive oil/sugar mixture, moving the pan around until the bottom is nicely covered. Cover the sauce with a layer of lasagna noodles, then cover the noodles with the meat/marinara mixture, about a 1/2-inch layer. Next comes another layer of lasagna noodles, then a layer of the cheese/egg/spinach/white sauce mixture, again in about a 1/2-inch layer.

                                        Now add a layer of the base mixture, then a layer of sliced sausages, then a layer of marinara sauce. Next comes another layer of lasagna noodles, then a layer of the meat sauce mixture. Cover the meat sauce with thin slices of mozzarella, followed by a layer of pasta, followed by a layer of marinara sauce, followed by a mozzarella layer. Repeat with layers of noodles and marinara (no cheese) until you reach the top of the pan. Cover the final layer of pasta with mozzarella, and smear the cheese with a final marinara saucing. Add a thin coating of the tomato sauce, and sprinkle with the kasseri cheese.

                                        Bake the lasagna until the top becomes slightly bubbly and brown. Remove from the oven and let rest for 20-30 minutes. Cut into individual portions and serve immediately.

                                        These basic ingredients are utilized with layered prepared veggies, such as eggplant, zuccinni, yellow squash, kale, spring onions, broccoli rabe, cauliflower, mushroom slices, and whatever, all pre-prepared al dente. The seafood lasagna used firm white fish such as Mahi-Mahi, Orange Roughy, Seabass, Halibut [the best], or even Salmon, [We didn't use only because it's not italian?], peeled shrimp, and scallops. You may wish to add Clam Meat, Lobster, or Squid—anything goes as long as you enjoy.

                                        Since this has taken so long, unless Chowhound approves I won't provide all the details for the variations, However if anyone emails me with what type of Lasagna they want to prepare, I'll be happy to advise how to assemble the ingredients, as the basic's are all included with this recipe, the differences are due to customizing each Lasagna your way. Hope this does meets your satisfaction. Once you've put it all together it not that difficult, when you eat your results, I hope it was woth the wait and you all enjoy. Hope this wasn't Chowhounds longest posting.My one finger typing tool says it's my longest anything ever. Irwin

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: Tom Steele
                                          e
                                          efdee Aug 31, 2003 01:27 PM

                                          Tom, you're a prince too! Thank you both for your labors of love. After seeing the recipe, I really regret never tasting the lasagna at Mama Leone's. Who knew?

                                          1. re: Tom Steele
                                            s
                                            scott Aug 31, 2003 02:05 PM

                                            Bless you, TomSteele!

                                            1. re: Tom Steele
                                              k
                                              Karl S. Aug 31, 2003 06:45 PM

                                              Thanks to Irwin & Tom! And MM!

                                              Here is my stab at a redaction of an ingredients list, which might prove practical/helpful:

                                              Ingredients list:

                                              Two 28 oz. cans chopped tomatoes in purée
                                              One 28-oz. can tomato purée
                                              12 oz. can tomato paste
                                              1 28-oz. can tomato sauce (such as Hunt’s, Del Monte or Muir Glen)

                                              1.5 cups finely chopped garlic, divided in halves
                                              1.5 cups finely diced onion, divided in halves
                                              4 cups shredded carrots, divided in halves
                                              4 cups finely diced celery, divided in halves
                                              4 cups diced red and/or green bell pepper, divided in halves
                                              5 bunches Italian (flat) parsley, finely diced, stems included; divided 2/2/1 ratio
                                              1 bunch “curly” parsley, chopped

                                              2 lbs. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained, squeezed dry

                                              1 + 1/8 cup olive oil, separated
                                              3 cups vegetable oil, divided in halves

                                              2 cups dry white wine, divided in halves
                                              1 bottle dry white wine

                                              1/2 cup dried oregano, divided in halves
                                              1/2 cup dried thyme, divided in halves
                                              1 cup dried basil, divided in halves
                                              2 tablespoons ground white pepper, separated
                                              2 teaspoons red chili flakes, separated
                                              1/3 cup fennel seeds
                                              1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
                                              4 tablespoons, separated in halves, + 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, separated

                                              2.5 lbs of fresh sweet Italian sausage
                                              Chicken/beef broth to cover the sausages in a skillet
                                              3 lbs. ground chuck
                                              Reserved, reduced stock from boiling the sausages, above

                                              1 lb. plain bread crumbs
                                              1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
                                              2 lbs. imported dried lasagna noodles, such as Barilla or De Cecco

                                              1 cup + 1.5 cups freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano, separated
                                              1 lb unsalted butter (3 sticks melted, 1 stick at room temperature)
                                              2 cups freshly grated kasseri cheese, separated in halves
                                              1 cup mozzarella cheese, freshly grated
                                              2 lbs mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
                                              1/2 gallon whole milk
                                              2 quarts fresh ricotta cheese
                                              1 dozen large eggs, whisked to blend in a very large bowl

                                              1. re: Karl S.
                                                k
                                                Karl S. Aug 31, 2003 10:35 PM

                                                Irwin, is this better? Sorry, I failed to check against your original!

                                                Ingredients list:

                                                Two 28 oz. cans chopped tomatoes in purée
                                                One 28-oz. can tomato purée
                                                12 oz. can tomato paste
                                                1 28-oz. can tomato sauce (such as Hunt’s, Del Monte or Muir Glen)

                                                1.5 cups finely chopped garlic, divided in halves
                                                6 cups (yes, 6 cups) finely diced onion, divided in halves
                                                4 cups shredded carrots, divided in halves
                                                4 cups finely diced celery, divided in halves
                                                4 cups diced red and/or green bell pepper, divided in halves
                                                5 bunches Italian (flat) parsley, finely diced, stems included; divided 2/2/1 ratio
                                                1 bunch “curly” parsley, chopped

                                                2 lbs. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained, squeezed dry

                                                1 + 1/8 cup olive oil, separated
                                                3 cups vegetable oil, divided in halves

                                                2 cups dry white wine, divided in halves
                                                1 bottle dry white wine

                                                1/2 cup dried oregano, divided in halves
                                                1/2 cup dried thyme, divided in halves
                                                1 cup dried basil, divided in halves
                                                2 tablespoons ground white pepper, separated
                                                2 teaspoons red chili flakes, separated
                                                1/3 cup fennel seeds
                                                1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
                                                4 tablespoons, separated in halves, + 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, separated

                                                2.5 lbs of fresh sweet Italian sausage
                                                Chicken/beef broth to cover the sausages in a skillet
                                                3 lbs. ground chuck
                                                Reserved, reduced stock from boiling the sausages, above

                                                1 lb. plain bread crumbs
                                                1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
                                                2 lbs. imported dried lasagna noodles, such as Barilla or De Cecco

                                                1 cup + 1.5 cups freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano, separated
                                                1 lb unsalted butter (3 sticks melted, 1 stick at room temperature)
                                                2 cups freshly grated kasseri cheese, separated in halves
                                                1 cup mozzarella cheese, freshly grated
                                                2 lbs mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
                                                1/2 gallon whole milk
                                                2 quarts fresh ricotta cheese
                                                1 dozen large eggs, whisked to blend in a very large bowl

                                                1. re: Karl S.
                                                  j
                                                  JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester) Aug 31, 2003 10:41 PM

                                                  Is it just me, or is this recipe going to use a wee bit more than two pounds of lasagna noodles? Five pounds of sausage and a couple gallons of marinara to the approximately 40 lasagna noodles in two pounds seems to be on the excessive side.

                                                  1. re: JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)
                                                    m
                                                    mistermike Sep 2, 2003 12:43 AM

                                                    Those were exactly my thoughts. For lasagna I use a stainless pan that I think in the trade is called a half banquet tray. Mine is made by the Polar Ware Co. of WI, and is 9.5" x 11.5" x 4' deep, with a stated capacity of 7 qts. The model # is either T304 or E12104-I am not sure which is correct as both numbers appear on the bottom. You can also get a stainless lid which is very handy for stacking one pan on top of another in the frig. Its dimensions are perfect for the standard dry lasagna noodle, and 1# of noodles fits nicely. The cost is very reasonable, too. Any restaurant supply should carry it. I don't think, however, that two of these pans would be sufficiently deep to contain all of the fillings in Irwin's recipe.

                                            2. c
                                              Cristina Aug 31, 2003 10:42 AM

                                              ONE FINGER? You typed all that with ONE FINGER? I am impressed and grateful. Thanks, Irwin.

                                              1. s
                                                Sharuf Aug 31, 2003 10:41 AM

                                                Re formatting on Chowhound for easier reading:
                                                -- hit the "enter" key twice to make a new paragraph
                                                -- hit the "enter" key once to make a new line
                                                -- you gotta put a dash or two to inset list items

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Sharuf
                                                  s
                                                  Sharuf Aug 31, 2003 11:02 AM

                                                  Oh, and for long instructions, breaking it down with headings is a good idea (e.g. "WHITE SAUCE" or "ASSEMBLY").

                                                  Now I'll take off my editor's hat.

                                                2. s
                                                  scott Aug 31, 2003 09:52 AM

                                                  How many does this recipe serve?

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: scott
                                                    p
                                                    Paul H Aug 31, 2003 06:52 PM

                                                    && what are the dimentions of the lasagna pan(s)?

                                                  Show Hidden Posts