The world of lasagna
Recipes, curiosities, jargon ...
The most well-known version of this recipe is undoubtedly the delicious and very popular "Red" lasagna. Its real name is "Lasagna alla bolognese", which means something like "Lasagna from Bologna".
Sometimes "red" lasagna is called "Lasagne al forno al ragu" ("baked lasagna with bolognese"). In Italian language the name ("lasagne") is feminine and plural, while the singular "lasagna" means each individual pasta sheet of a dish of lasagna.
Bolognese is not the only key element of a dish of lasagna. Another sauce, bechamel, is utilised; and without the cheese "Parmigiano reggiano", lasagna does not taste as it should do. The dough must be done with eggs, soft wheat flour and water.
There are some regional versions of lasagna that differs from the classic recipe. These recipes are not as famous as traditional lasagna. There are no eggs in the dough of the sheets, and durum wheat flour is utilised instead of soft wheat flour.
The shape of the pasta also changes, as lasagna can look curvy,twisted or rolled up. Instead of bolognese and bechamel, the filling can be eggs,sausages,local cheese, vegetables or other ingredients more connected to the local traditions.
If one adds some spinach or other vegetables to the dough, lasagna will become green.
Pasta sheets should be home-made immediately before the utilisation and fresh. Today, the food industry offers a big variety of dry sheets that can work as well as the traditional fresh dough sheets.
New versions of the traditional recipe has been proposed in the last decades. So we have now lasagna with seafood ( seafood sauces are utilised instead of bolognese), white lasagna (it is made of a sauce made of spinach or herbs and ricotta), lasagna with pesto(the filling is made of pesto and bechamel), mushroom lasagna, and so on.
Making new versions of the basic recipe is not difficult. Simply, change the filling and think of a nice name!
Lasagna basic dictionary
(feminin, singular; plural "lasagne") lasagna
(feminine, singular; plural "sfoglie") pasta sheet
fresh pasta (usually with eggs)
dry pasta (it can have eggs or not)
pasta made of eggs and flour
Pasta di semola di grano duro
pasta made of durum wheat semolina
name of a cheese