Frank Bruni's Lasagna

By Kate Krader Posted August 25, 2009

Frank Bruni, top left, with his family

One dish stands out of the hundreds name-checked in Born Round, the memoir by former New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni: his mother’s lasagna. As Bruni writes, “Mom had begun making lasagna for the entire Amherst College swimming team. Anytime the team had a competition anywhere near our house in Avon, Conn., she insisted that my brother Mark, his teammates and his coaches stop by for dinner on the way back to school. She made lasagna for forty to fifty…. It was an impressive feat, and she knew it.” Talking about the recipe with F&W, Bruni told us that his mother “had more lasagna mileage than someone who worked in an all-lasagna restaurant (do those exist?).” Grandma Bruni’s recipe, which was perfected by Bruni’s mom, is quite possibly the perfect lasagna, with layers of noodles slathered with simple, hearty meat sauce and tons of cheese—mozzarella, ricotta and pecorino. As Bruni told us, his mother accepted no substitutions: “I remember coming home and telling my mother that a friend’s mother had served me a lasagna with cottage cheese; she snorted with derision,” he says. Bruni shares Grandma Bruni's recipe exclusively with F&W here.

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