How to make lasagna is simple. It’s just putting together the ingredients.
Lasagna is the typical dish of Bologna and has become a symbol of the Italian cuisine in the world.
The term lasagna most probably comes from Latin “lasanum”, word for a cooking-pot where large ribbons of pasta were boiled.
Latin word “lasania” was intended for the content cooked in it.
Other word associated is “laganum”, Latin word for cake. Dish was called “lagana” in the plural for the layers of pasta like in a cake.
Lasagna, lasagne in the plural, is a large ribbon of pasta. It should be fresh homemade egg pasta, cooked the same day. Of course you can find industrial lasagna with or without eggs. Don’t expect the same experience.
Lasagna brings probably to your mind a picture of a thick dense crusty composition of pasta with other seemingly randomly nestled ingredients. You can tell cheese is there for sure. Then tomato, because of the reddish color and some kind of meats. Then you’ve guessed out right. You may miss the other ingredient, the bechamel sauce.
That’s lasagne alla Bolognese, the mother of all lasagne.
There are numerous variations of the original classic: vegetarian lasagna, chicken lasagna and even a seafood lasagna recipe; with eggplant, with spinach, artichokes, mushrooms and more. There is even a green lasagna pasta.
When you know how to make lasagna alla Bolognese, the process is the same for all lasagna. The difference is in the ingredients. When you lay them, alternate layers horizontally and vertically so lasagna when baking compacts nicely.
The process of making lasagna is very simple once you have gathered and prepared the ingredients. You may guess, correctly, this task can be time consuming.
So, as you can imagine, lasagna is not a routinely made dish for the labor and time involved, especially if you make your own pasta. It’s for the Sundays and holidays, a treat loved by children and adults.
How to Make Lasagna alla Bolognese
Total Time: 1 hour (with sauces and pasta ready)
A true lasagna alla Bolognese is made with fresh egg pasta.
If using dried kind pasta, precook lasagne in boiling water for 1 minute and stop the cooking by dropping them in a bath of cold water. Then drain and dry them before assembling.
You can also find lasagne which don’t need precooking. Read labels.
Ingredients for 4 people (use a baking dish 9 x 9 inches):
First spread a thin layer of sauce with a little oil to avoid sticking and burning.
Fit lasagna and spread a thin layer of bechamel.
Cover with Bolognese sauce and sprinkle parmigiano.
Repeat with 3 more layers.
Cover last layer more generously with sauces and parmigiano.
Bake at 350F for about 45 minutes
What about ricotta and mozzarella?
A word to some readers perplexed for the absence of ricotta and mozzarella in the recipe. There is and never was ricotta or mozzarella in lasagna Bolognese. It’s present in lasagne napoletane, which calls for mozzarella too. Although mozzarella doesn’t go in the original lasagna bolognese, it’s been an accepted practice to add it. That doesn’t alter the dish much like ricotta would. So a hybrid has been created, with crossings from Bologna and Naples.
Lasagna Napoletana doesn’t have bechamel nor Bolognese sauce. Its layers have other ingredients. It’s a much more elaborate dish than lasagna Bolognese.
Lasagne are always in layers and the ingredients can vary greatly. They can be totally vegetarian, red, white or green (no reference to the colors of the Italian flag), or other. It’s up to imagination. Some like tomato everywhere so here is a similar interesting combination with lasagne ricotta spinach tomato.
In summer with an abundance of zucchini, skip the pasta and try zucchini lasagna.
When you don’t know what pasta to prepare for a special occasion or a holiday, make lasagna. You can’t go wrong. It’s a dish everybody likes even kids and you’ll impress your guests. It’s welcome in the cold months, when you need a real nourishing plate to boost your energy and also brings some cheers in those gloomy rainy or snowy days. It’s always a treat.
Now that you know how to make lasagna, you can experiment in the same way with other ingredients and even create one of your own lasagna.
More Lasagna Recipes
Lasagne Napoletane are complex and more elaborate than their counterpart lasagne alla Bolognese.
Lasagne ricotta spinach tomato and more, richer with more character and taste with the addition…
Lasagna with eggplant a recipe on which north and south of Italy meet in a light delightful combination.
Zucchini Lasagna another delicious way to cook the vegetable especially in summer when zucchini…