Recipe: lasagna della vigilia

Morton Arboretum 2014 - 167
Source: Flickr

Lasagna della Vigilia (Christmas Eve Lasagna)

There used to be a tradition in Italy of making this lasagna from huge sheets of pasta that symbolized the cloth that wrapped the Christmas child.

1/2 cup unsalted butter
8 anchovy filets in oil, drained and finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, finely minced
1 pound lasagna noodles
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Lots of freshly ground pepper

In a large enameled skillet melt the butter slowly over medium low heat. Add the anchovies and garlic and warm them in the butter about 5 minutes, using a wooden spoon to mash the anchovies as thoroughly as you can.

In a large pot of boiling salted water cook the pasta. Fresh lasagna noodles will cook in about 1 minute, dried in about 10 minute.

Remove noodles with a slotted spoon, drain them very quickly and toss immediately in a large bowl with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese to coat their slippery surfaces.

Quickly transfer the noodles to the anchovy sauce, grind a lot of fresh pepper over the top and toss well.

Serve everyone a few lasagna noodles on well-warmed plates.

Serve remaining Parmesan cheese on the side.

Makes 6 servings.

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