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Playing 4 Homemade Food Gifts For The Holidays

“Lasagna is a big holiday staple in my family (sometimes, we even eat it before turkey on Thanksgiving!). For Christmas, I make this lasagna and serve it with meatballs which I poach in the tomato sauce as it’s simmering for a little extra flavor before I assemble the lasagna.”

See how this recipe was made on Facebook Live!


For the Parmigiano-Reggiano Béchamel sauce:
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 5 cups whole milk
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
For the Tomato Sauce:
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
  • 5 to 6 basil leaves, finely chopped
For the Lasagna:
  • For the Lasagna: 1 box no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 3 cups mozzarella, shredded
  • 5-6 basil leaves, finely chopped, optional for garnish


Serves: 6-8


For the béchamel, melt butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Whisk in flour until it begins to smell nutty and fragrant, about 1 minute. Slowly stream in the milk and whisk well so there are no lumps and the mixture is smooth. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Once the sauce has come to a low bubble, let thicken for 5-6 minutes, whisking often. Remove from heat,  whisk in cheese and reserve.
For the tomato sauce, heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes and bay leaf, and sauté for 7-8 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook for another minute. Deglaze the pan with the red wine and reduce the wine by half. Add tomatoes and bring the sauce to a bubble. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for a minimum of 20-25 minutes. (I like to let it simmer for a few hours while I get other food prepped!) Remove bay leaf and stir in basil.

Preheat oven to 375°F.
To build the lasagna, cover the bottom of a 9x13-inch casserole with about 1 cup of tomato sauce. Top the sauce with a layer of lasagna noodles, a layer of béchamel sauce, a layer of mozzarella and another layer of tomato sauce. Continue building another 3 to 4 layers until all of the lasagna noodles are used, ending with a layer of tomato sauce. Top lasagna with remaining mozzarella cheese (serve any extra sauce at the table).
Cover the lasagna with foil and bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes or until the top layer of cheese is brown. Remove from oven and If using, garnish with basil. Let lasagna rest for at least 30 minutes (I like to let it rest for at least an hour, but it’s sliceable after 30 minutes. The longer it rests, the easier it is to cut!) before serving.


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