8 Layer Lasagna

Is there anyone who doesn’t love Italian food? In this episode, Martha introduces her modern American take on four favorites: eight-layer lasagna, chicken Parmesan, raviolo with egg yolk, and linguine with red or white clam sauce. Each is guaranteed to be a hit with friends and family.

Makes 12


  • 3/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms (about 3/4 ounce)
  • 1 bay leaf, preferably fresh
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 1/2 ounces prosciutto, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2 1/4 cups very finely chopped onions
  • 3/4 cup very finely chopped celery
  • 3/4 cup very finely chopped carrots
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, trimmed and coarsely ground
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 3 cups dry Marsala wine
  • 3 cups Brown Chicken Stock (recipe follows)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, finely chopped (3 ¼ cups)
  • 2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for topping
  • 2 pounds Homemade Lasagna Noodles (recipe follows)
  • 4 cups Bechamel Sauce (recipe follows)


  1. Place porcini mushrooms in a small bowl with enough warm water to cover; let stand 30 minutes.
  2. Drain mushrooms, reserving liquid if desired, for a more pronounced mushroom flavor. Strain liquid through a fine mesh sieve and set aside. Chop mushrooms and set aside.
  3. Using a piece of kitchen twine, tie together bay leaf, rosemary, thyme, and 2 whole cloves; set aside.
  4. Melt 6 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add prosciutto and sauté for 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Add onions, celery, and carrots, reduce heat to medium, and cook until very soft but not brown, about 30 minutes.
  5. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 6 tablespoons butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add pork and cook until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer pork to the vegetable mixture, reserving skillet. Add tomato paste to pork and vegetable mixture and cook for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, add Marsala to the skillet and bring to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula, scraping up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Pour Marsala over the pork and vegetable mixture and place saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce to a simmer and cook until liquid has reduced by one-third, 30 to 45 minutes. Add chicken stock, herb bundle, mushroom soaking liquid; stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and let simmer, partially covered, for 2 hours. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper; set aside to cool. Remove herb bundle.
  6. Heat remaining tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add cremini mushrooms and reserved porcinis; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Fold mushrooms into pork mixture; set aside.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in the center. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Brush 4 ½-by-2-inch ramekins with melted butter. Place one pasta round in the bottom of each ramekin. Top the round with 1 teaspoon Parmigiano-Reggiano. Using a 1 ½ tablespoons scoop, top the cheese with one scoop of the meat mixture, and 2 teaspoons béchamel sauce. Repeat process until you have 8 layers finishing with pasta; keep in mind you may not need to use all the pork mixture. Top final layer of pasta with bechamel sauce and sprinkle with cheese.
  8. Transfer ramekins to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and fitted with a wire rack. Cover ramekins with parchment lined foil and bake until sauce is bubbly, about 15 minutes. Remove the parchment lined foil, increase the heat to 425 degrees and continue baking until crisp on top, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 20 minutes.  Serve immediately with extra cheese and meat sauce.