La Grande Lasagna di Carnevale



Today marks the first day of Carnevale in Italy, the two week famous celebration before Ash Wednesday (March 9th) and the season of Lent.  For this occasion I am re-posting the classic lasagna recipe for this event:  La Grande Lasagna di Carnevale.  I am re-posting it from it’s original post date of:  January 30, 2010.  Rather than re-post all of the numerous steps (yes, this lasagna takes all afternoon to prepare), I’m going to simply give you the link (click here for Lasagna di Carnavale) to go to for the full recipe, procedure, and photos.

This is one of the most traditional recipes prepared for the Italian Carnevale celebration. Now, I do have my own lasagna recipe that my family cherishes . . . and there are numerous types of lasagna recipes in cookbooks and online.  Yet after reading several recipes that I found in my cookbooks for this Lasagna di Carnavale, I still made several of my own personal adjustments to the recipe.

Yes, it may take almost an entire afternoon to make this lasagna recipe, but it is totally worth the time and effort. The recipe is quite extra-ordinary from my own lasagna recipe with Bolognese sauce because it has the following extras in the recipe that take this lasagna over the top:

  • meatballs with prosciutto are added
  • each layer has chopped prosciutto and Genoa salami included
  • the Bolognese sauce has red wine included

Each of these additions contributes to a very intense marriage of flavors. The added strong flavors really take it to the WOW factor level. I just cannot describe how delicious this lasagna is!

So if you’ve got the time, go for it! This lasagna certainly lives up to its name of “La Grande”!

The bubbling cheese on top that invites everyone to dig in!
This recipe’s uniqueness comes from the inclusion of meatballs and chopped prosciutto and salami into the layering of the lasagna dish.  Quite decadent!
Layering the meatballs on top of the noodles, sauce, and cheeses.
Layering the chopped prosciutto and salami on top of the first layer of noodles, sauce, cheeses and meatballs.

Once again, the complete recipe, procedure, and more photos are from my post on January 30, 2010.
Also from my original post ~ ~ an explanation of Carnevale:
“Carnevale, which is Italy’s version of Mardi Gras, is a two-week period of festivities before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the spiritual renewal period of Lent, the 40 days before the Holy Day of Easter. The name Carnevale means to ‘remove meat’ — carne levare, which is the Lenten tradition. This is because Carnevale used to take place only on the night before Ash Wednesday, but it slowly extended to two weeks in duration.
In Venice, Italy, a very old, historical and traditional festival begins that dates back to 1296, that is also a celebration of winter transitioning into springtime.
In Northern Italy where my relatives still live, it is quite cold, especially up in the mountains where the cold winds blow down from the Alps and Appenine mountains. Similar to our northern American winters, there is very little sunshine during the often frozen temperatures. Brrrr, it just sounds way too cold for me.  So in combination with celebrating prior to the Lenten fast, Italians, who are known for their intense and passionate love of life, have Carnevale!
Anyone can participate in the festivities, no matter what his or her background is, in which elaborate masks and costumes are worn in the public squares, parties and balls. Daily and nightly events take place and include all types of merriment: street performances everywhere, along with extravagant costume balls, masquerades, parties, sumptuous dinners, parades with spectacular floats, music, gondola parades, and games for children. Beautiful fireworks conclude the festivities on the final evening.
There are Carnevale celebrations throughout Italy, however, the largest and most elaborate of all the festivals take place in Venice, Verona (the oldest), Viareggio, and Cento.  So during this festive time of year in Italy, I felt it most appropriate to focus on and share a traditional Italian recipe that is prepared, enjoyed, and passed down from generation to generation:  La Grande Lasagna di Carnevale from Naples, and Calzone.”
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  1. says

    I think the mountains of Italy would be warmth to my MN-winter-weary soul! All the more reason to make this fabulous dish – it certainly celebrates flavor! Just a gorgeous recipe. I love lasagna that includes meatballs!

  2. says

    Claudia, I think that you know alot about Italian culture too!

    Claudia, I had never had meatballs in lasagna before, so this was totally new to me. I hope Minnesota has a warm spring and summer for you! Because I’m originally from Iowa, I know what you’re going through there! Stay warm!

  3. says

    Kathy and Val, Yes, this is quite a doozy of a lasagna recipe. I really enjoyed it as did hubby. It’s really a lot more work than a regular lasagna.

  4. says

    Catherine, LindaLou, yes it’s a beautiful time of year and lasagna made this way is extra, extra special!

    Anne – thanks so much, sweetie . . . it hasn’t come off easy! But since the weight has come off more slowly, I’m hoping that it will be easier to KEEP it off! Thanks for your support!

  5. says

    Wonderful, Roz! A beautiful recipe and a must try…love the history and appreciate the beauty of this celebration and the sacred season it leads us to. N

  6. says

    This looks fantastic as do the recipes on your side bar!

    I’m visiting from The 21rst Century Housewife and am your newest follower on GFC.

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