This Neapolitan-style lasagne recipe is a carnival specialty in Naples. Traditionally eaten on “Mardi Gras”, this lasagne is set apart by the meatballs that are sandwiched between the pasta sheets. Making it a very bountiful meal to enjoy before the 40-day fast of the Lenten season. Every family has their own special version – in this recipe we added peas for variation.
Chop the celery, carrot, garlic and onion into small pieces. Heat three tablespoons of oil in a large pan and sauté the vegetables over a low heat for five minutes. Add the tomato passata and season with salt and pepper to taste. Gently simmer for one hour.
Hard-boil four eggs in water (approx. 12 minutes). Then, quench the eggs with cold water before peeling and slicing them.
To make the meatballs, combine an egg together with the grated Parmesan and minced beef. Season with salt and shape into small balls. Melt some butter in a frying pan, add the meatballs, and brown them all over. Add the meatballs to the tomato sauce.
Preheat the oven to 160 °C.
Now, add the peas to the tomato sauce, stir briefly and simmer for a further five minutes.
In the meantime, line the bottom of an ovenproof dish with a layer of lasagne sheets and cut the Mozzarella into slices.
Take the tomato sauce off the heat, stir well and cover the first layer of pasta with a layer of the sauce. Spread a few egg slices and some sliced mozzarella on top and then cover with another layer of lasagne sheets. Again cover the pasta with tomato sauce, and repeat the layering process to use up all the ingredients. Make sure to finish with a layer of pasta sheets on top.
Put around 30 g butter into a small pan. When this is melted, add approximately 30 g flour and stir it into the butter over a medium heat using a whisk. When fully combined, add a little milk, continuing to stir and bringing it to the boil. Slowly add more milk in this way until you have enough thickish white sauce to cover the top pasta layer. Season with a little pepper and spread the white sauce evenly over the top pasta layer. Sprinkle with the grated Gouda and bake in the oven for one hour.
Let the lasagne rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.