WHAT IS LASAGNA?
They are flat sheets of pasta that have a wavy edge (if sold in the States). Elsewhere in the world it’s flat. Invented in the 14th century the name comes from Latin where it was a cooking term for the pot originally used. Today this cut is popular in baked dishes all over the world. In between each sheet is layer of sauce, cheese and meat. Italian lasagna is most associated with Bologna in the north. However the recipe has evolved over time. So different regions of Italy each have their own take on what to cook with it. By itself it’s simple to make. Semolina flour and water are all that’s needed, though sometimes eggs are thrown into the mix. Furthermore when mixed together, the proteins in the flour bond with the water to form a gluten structure. This gives the pasta its’ strength and elasticity.
WHERE IS LASAGNA MADE?
Supposedly this cut was invented long ago in the southern city of Naples. Today a traditional Napolitan lasagna has layers of sausage, meatballs, eggs, sauce and 2 different cheeses. A follow-up visit to a coronary specialist is at your discretion. The Bologna version has 5 separate layers of pasta and filling. This is in addition to a ragu and a béchamel sauce.
LASAGNA ISN’T JUST AN ITALIAN DISH!
Other styles of cuisine have embraced this food all over the planet. In Puerto Rico they use plantains (pastelón). While in Greece lasagna is cooked with eggplant (moussaka), or lamb (pastitsio). From Texas to Poland to tribes that have historically traveled about (Sephardic Jews with their Scacchi, a matzo without the dairy or tomato) you see lasagna everywhere. This versatile ingredient’s use of filling embraces the local ingredients of pretty much any culture. Want to try a Taco Lasagna? How about a Peanut Butter and Chocolate Lasagna? Or try something a little more Eastern with this Kimchi Lasagne recipe!
WHAT SAUCES GO WELL WITH LASAGNA?
Unlike most pasta cuts, lasagna’s use of fillings means that answer depends entirely on the filling ingredients. Your Kimchi Lasagne sauce will be different then your Taco one. However in Italy ragu and béchamel tend to be safe bets. The key elements are a tomato and dairy-based sauce for the more traditional recipes. Check out our Italian lasagna recipe for a classic taste!