I like to refer to Lasagna as the “secret weapon” pasta; that is to say, it’s easy to prepare, freezes well, and seems to be a perennial favorite (thus you can make and consume it often!). And as Wisegeek.com suggests, the history of the name lasagna is also very interesting. The word lasagna is derived from the Greek lasanon, which is translated as “chamber pot.” The Romans borrowed the word to refer to cooking pots of a similar shape, and at some point the word came to be used to refer to the noodles which were traditionally layered in a lasanum, a Roman lasagna dish.
- 1 pound of fresh mozzarella
- 6-7 cups of tomato sauce
- 2-3 cups of fresh ricotta
- Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (see my guide to cheese)
- A small amount of ground beef and/or pork sauteed in olive oil prior to inclusion in dish
- 1 box of flat (no ridge) dry lasagna
- Cook the pasta per the instructions on the box and place the pasta on the bottom of a pan, then add sauce, mozzarella, grated cheese, ricotta, and ground meat. Repeat until your ingredients run out! Note: the top layer should be the sauce with a bit of grated cheese, if you’d like. Place aluminum foil over baking dish and bake in oven at 375°F for 40 minutes. The ideal lasagna should be about the right combination of pasta, tomato sauce, and cheeses and not simply a cheese bomb!