Lasagna della Vigilia (Christmas Eve Lasagna)

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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. In Italy, most people fast all of Christmas Eve day and then at midnight they eat a big feast!


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 8 anchovy filets in oil, drained and finely chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 pound lasagne 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 lasagne noodles will cook in about 1 minute, dried in about 10.
Remove noodles with a slotted poon, 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 lasagne noodles on well-warmed plates.
Serve the rest of the Parmesan cheese on the side.

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