La Vera Cucina

Graziella’s Fresh Handmade Lasagna

At Ristorante Luciano in Stone Harbor, NJ, owner Luciano Iacovino satisfies well-heeled regulars with braised pork shoulder ragu and other specialties. But a runaway favorite remains his mother Graziella’s lasagna with her fresh, housemade pasta. Here, Luciano shares his mother’s recipe for lasagna noodles (and how they are best enjoyed)!


  • Fresh Fall harvest Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Fresh, handmade lasagna egg noodles (see recipe below)
  • Béchamel sauce (use your favorite recipe)
  • Marinara sauce (use your favorite recipe)
  • ¼ cup grated Pecorino Romano

Pasta all’ Uovo Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour, plus more for dusting
  • 3 large eggs
  • sea salt


  • Mound flour on counter and make a well in the center. Add eggs and a pinch of salt, whisk eggs. Using a fork, slowly mix into the eggs a small amount of flour from the walls of the well. As the dough becomes stiffer, use your hands to knead it thoroughly. Dust surface with flour as needed to prevent sticking. Keep kneading dough until it is smooth and no longer sticky – about 5 to 7 minutes. Cover with plastic and let rest on the counter for 1 hour.
  • Once the dough has rested, cut off a quarter and rewrap the rest. Use the heel of your hand to flatten the quarter dough. Then, using a pasta machine (or rolling pin), adjust the dough rollers to their widest setting (3/8”). Pass the dough through the rollers; fold it in half, rotate it 90 degrees, and roll again. Fold, rotate, and roll twice more.
  • Reduce the roller gap by one setting (1/16”) and pass the dough through. Lightly dust dough surface and rollers with flour if they begin to stick. After each pass, tighten the roller by one setting until the dough is 1/16 inch thick. If pasta begins to tear, go back to a larger setting, fold pasta over and reroll.
  • Lay rolled pasta on a lightly dusted sheet pan or hang on a pasta drying rack until all pasta is finished. Let pasta rest for 15 minutes or longer. Cut into 4 inch by 12 inch pieces.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook 2-3 noodles at a time for about 1-2 minutes. Carefully transfer cooked noodles to cool water for 1-2 minutes, drain well and lay on a towel lined sheet pan, pat dry, and rest until ready to use. Repeat until all noodles are cooked.

Lasagna Assembly:

Oil a 9 by 13 inch baking dish. Cover bottom with a layer of noodles, being careful to not overlap, and to trim to fit dish as needed. Spread 1 cup of marinara over noodles. Spoon 2/3 cup béchamel over marinara and gently spread with a spatula. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano. Repeat these layers three to four times, depending on how many noodles you have. Finish the last pasta layer with béchamel and cheese. Bake lasagna in a preheated 400° oven for about 25-35 minutes until golden brown and bubbling. Let rest for 10 minutes before cutting and serving. Serves 6.

About Lasagna

Many families have their own cherished recipes for this comfort food. Today most versions include tomato sauce. But baking layered lasagna (la-san-yah) noodles was popular long before the 1500s when tomatoes first arrived in Italy. While less common, the plural spelling “lasagne” (la-san-yay) is technically also correct. (Think “noodle” vs. “noodles.”) Either way, the results are delicious.