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The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Faculty Foods: Lisa Baglione’s, Ph.D., mother’s lasagna recipe

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ILLUSTRATION: CASEY WOOD ’23/THE HAWK

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, people have spent more time in their homes trying new recipes. The Hawk will feature recipes submitted by St. Joe’s faculty members to connect with one another through food. 

 

Lisa Baglione, Ph.D., professor of political science, shared her mother’s lasagna recipe with The Hawk.

“It was certainly something in my house that was always a big treat when I was growing up that my mother made,” Baglione said. “It was a very important dish. We always had it as a first course, whether it was Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter.”

Baglione said she cooks this recipe to remember her grandmother, who immigrated to the U.S. from Italy as a young child, and her mother. Baglione said she wants to continue to pass the dish down to younger generations within her family. 

“It is really important to share the food, and to have that connection with my side of the family, because my side of the family isn’t really around anymore,” Baglione said. “I think about them when I make the sauce and we eat the lasagna.”

 

BAGLIONE’S LASAGNA 

Start to finish: 1 hour 30 minutes (25 minutes active)

Servings: 9–12 

 

Ingredients:

Sauce:

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced 

One 6-ounce can tomato paste

Three 28-ounce cans crushed or “kitchen ready” tomatoes

2 tablespoons dried or fresh basil

3 tablespoons sugar

Optional: crushed red pepper or oregano, to taste

Optional: 1 pound hot Italian sausages

 

Lasagna:

One 16-ounce box lasagna noodles

2 pounds ricotta cheese

2 eggs

¼ cup grated Romano cheese

1 pound mozzarella cheese 

Optional: ground black pepper and parsley, to taste

 

Directions:

Sauce:

Make the sauce, or “gravy” (sauce with meat), about 40 minutes before making the lasagna. 

Optional: Put the burner on medium-low to brown hot Italian sausages at the bottom of a large saucepan for about 5 minutes, turning occasionally, until partially cooked and the whole sausage is browned. Take sausage out and discard excess fat. 

In the same saucepan, pour extra-virgin olive oil. 

Add minced garlic. Put the burner on medium-low until the garlic starts to simmer. 

Turn down the heat to low and add tomato paste. For a thinner sauce, use only half of the can. 

Stir the paste into the garlic and oil mixture until fully mixed. 

Add crushed tomatoes and continue to stir. 

Add fresh or dried basil and sugar. Mix until semi-blended. 

Optional: Add additional spices.

Optional: Add the partially cooked sausages, cover and let the “gravy” cook on low for one hour. Cook on low for 30–40 minutes if no meat was added. The sauce should slightly thicken and be well-blended when it’s finished.

 

Lasagna:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. 

Grease the bottom of a 13-by-9-inch pan with olive oil or a nonstick spray. 

While the sauce is cooking, boil 6 quarts of water in a large 8-quart pot with a dash of salt and a splash of olive oil so the noodles don’t stick together.  

Add the lasagna noodles and cook for 4 minutes less than the box recommends (they will continue to cook later on in the oven). 

In a large bowl, mix the ricotta, eggs, spices and Romano cheese. 

Grate the mozzarella cheese and mix half of the grated cheese into the ricotta mixture.

Drain the noodles when done and pat them dry with a paper towel.

Add a small amount of sauce to coat the bottom of the prepared 13-by-9-inch pan.

In order, layer noodles, three horizontally across the pan and one cut to fit vertically in the pan, ⅓ of the ricotta mixture, 2–3 ladles of sauce and a sprinkling of mozzarella cheese.

Repeat this layering 2 more times for 3 full layers. 

Add the last set of noodles on top and add sauce. 

Sprinkle additional Romano cheese and the remaining mozzarella cheese, to taste.

Cover with aluminum foil and add toothpicks to prevent it from touching the cheese on top. 

Poke holes in the aluminum foil with a knife to let air escape, preventing the noodles from becoming too mushy. 

Bake for 35–40 minutes. If the lasagna looks too “soupy,” take the aluminum cover off for the last 5–10 minutes. 

Let the lasagna sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Serve with extra sauce, meat and Romano cheese. Enjoy. 

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