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.
Out version of lasagna includes flat lasagna pasta (no ridges, per the Italian standard), tomato sauce (click here for my homemade recipe) with a bit of meat (pork and beef), ricotta (click here to learn how to make ricotta at home), mozzarella, and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (see my guide to cheese). Some recipes call for Béchamel sauce but adding the sauce seems like an unnecessary ingredient and task, so like most Italian dishes, keep it simple. Note we’ve recieved some negative feedback on not including Béchamel sauce in our lasagna recipe so we suggest you go with the method that yields the best results for you.
Lasagna is also #68 on the Scordo Pasta Challenge – the challenge marches on!
- 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!