An Italian term Lasagna from Italy, is originated possibly from a generic informal Latin term Lasania from Latin lasanum, (Lasaniaa is considered as a generic term for the nonstandard (as opposed to classical) sociolects of Latin from which the Romance languages developed).
There are some other arguments also about the origination of the Italian term Lasagna and that are that it is from Ancient Greek term by name lasanon/lasana) and some others argue that the Italian lasagna originally derived from the Arabic (Semitic) lawzinaj.
But keeping aside the guesswork about the origination of the Italian term Lasagna, if at all one would like to get into only the cookery oriented details about Lasagna and then it is nothing but a dish made by baking a flat pasta with very wide strips filled with ingredients something like, layers of bolognese and bechamel sauce along with cheese, vegetables and/or meat.
It can also be defined as a large, flat Italian dish with wide and rectangular strips of pasta as its main ingredient and some other supporting ingredients something like layers of tomato sauce, cheese, vegetables and usu-ground meat along with the pasta that happened to be cooked in a vessel like a chamber pot/tripod.
Lasagna is also known as a popular dish of Italian cuisine in some other different format of cookery that consists of alimentary paste, pasta – shaped and dried dough made from flour and water and egg also at times.
Lasagna is considered as possibly one of the oldest types of pasta and the word ‘lasagne’ is nothing but the plural form of ‘Lasagna’, when it is referred to a dish made with several layers of lasagna sheets alternated with sauces and various other ingredients.
According to Liber de Coquina (the book of cookery), in which, the first modern recipe was created and published, ‘Lasagna’ originated and attributed as a traditional dish in the city of Naples (Campania) in Italy.
As a traditional dish of Italy the lasagna is made of interleaving layers of pasta as the main ingredient along with different types of meats something like, ground beef, pork or chicken and ricotta or mozzarella cheese, layers of sauce, made with ragù, bechamel and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Lasagna can also made with various vegetables something like, spinach, zucchini, mushrooms), along with the layers of pasta as the main ingredient and the necessary supporting ingredients something like ricotta or mozzarella cheese, layers of sauce, made with ragù, bechamel, and Parmigiano-Reggiano, with or without the combination of meat.
Traditionally, ‘Lasagna’ as pasta dough prepared with flour and eggs along with semolina in Southern Italy, but in north Italy, water replaces the semolina, where it is not available. Recently the commercial lasagne dishes are made of semolina (from durum wheat, because the only type of wheat allowed for commercially sold pasta is durum wheat).
There can be a bit difference in the types of ingredients and cooking of a Lasagna, depending upon the availability of farm, dairy and meat products in the different regions of Italy as well as all over the world, but generally it is served almost with a ragù, a thick sauce made from ingredients such as onions, carrots, finely ground pork and beef, celery, butter, and tomatoes.
In any case whether it is made just with different types of meat or simply with various vegetables and even a combination of both at times, the lasagna is totally famous as a traditional delicious dish that is typically oven-baked and fantastically flavored with wine, garlic, onion, and oregano, both in Italy, as well as in other regions all over the world.
So if you are a real food lover and love to have a delicious dish like lasagna and want to become a great host by feeding it to a genuine gathering including your friends and family members, then you have taken a right decision, because almost everyone loves good lasagna.
Lasagna is such an amazing food item that freezes well, reheats well as well as a perfect dish to get it to a potluck and even the leftovers will make you happy for some more days to come after the day’s Lasagna party.
So, if you are eager to have such a pleasant hosting experience and then come and join us to know about the recipe for ‘Lasagna’. So, let us move on to get into the detailed process of preparation of an impressive classic version of ‘Lasagna’ – the Unique Italian Dish that can keep both the vegetarians and the meat-eaters happy:
Now, let us go through the details of the total time required including the preparation, cooking and the yield that you will get by following this easy level recipe for a ‘Classic Lasagna Recipe’:
Preparation Time: 20 minutes.
Cooking Time: 100 minutes.
Preparation of Sauces: 60 minutes (As this recipe is meant to keep both the vegetarians and the meat-eaters happy, you as a host have to make two classic sauces, so that you can then assemble your lasagne).
Yield (Serves): 6 members.
Olive Oil: 2 tablespoons plus a little for greasing.
Lean Beef Mince: 750g.
Pack Prosciutto: 90g.
Tomato Sauce: 50g
Hot Beef Stock: 200ml.
Grated Nutmeg: A little.
Fresh Pack Lasagne Sheets: 300g.
White Sauce: 230g.
Ball Mozzarella: 125g.
First of all, Let us go through the details about the preparation of the Homemade Tomato Sauce and White Sauce:
A) White Sauce:
Take 85g of butter and melt it in a saucepan, pour 85g of plain flour and keep stirring until you cook it for about 2 minutes.
Then slowly whisk in 750ml of milk, keep stirring until it is brought to the boil. Turn down heat, and then cook until the sauce starts to thicken and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Sauce can now be cooled and kept in the fridge for up to 3 days or frozen for 3 months.
B) Homemade Tomato Sauce:
Get ready the ingredients like 2 onions, finely diced, 2 garlic cloves, sliced and 1 carrot, roughly chopped and then take 1 tablespoon of olive oil and heat it in a saucepan, so as to add onions, garlic and carrot to hot olive oil, so that you can cook them around 5-7 minutes over a medium heat until softened.
Then turn up the heat a little and stir in 2 tablespoons of tomato purée and continue the cooking for another minute, so as to pour in 200ml of white wine and cook again for further 5 minutes until you notice that it has reduced by two-thirds.
The next thing is to add 3 cans of chopped tomatoes, each of 400g and add 1 handful basil leaves, get it to the boil and then simmer for further 20 minutes and then let it get to cool, whizz in a food processor.
C) Ragu or Meat Sauce:
Cook the beef in two batches around 10 minutes in hot oil in a frying pan and keep observing until the meat gets browned all over. Finely chop 4 slices of prosciutto, and then stir through the meat mixture.
Pour over the tomato sauce and stock, add the nutmeg, then season, get it to the boil and then simmer for further 30 minutes until the ragu looks rich and is well coated in sauce.
Now let us get into the next stage of recipe for making of a Classic Lasagne and it is as below:
1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.
2. Take an ovenproof serving dish of 8″ x 12″size and slightly oil it to assemble the lasagne and then spoon over a 1/3 of the ragu sauce, so as to cover with lasagna sheets and sprinkle over around 1/4 of the white sauce.
3. Repeat the process until you get 3 layers of pasta and make sure that whether any pasta is poking through and to do so, simply cover it with the remaining half quantity of white sauce.
Get the mozzarella into thin strips by tearing it neatly and then scatter over the top, after that arrange the rest of the prosciutto on top, so as to bake it until the top is bubbling and lightly browned, for about 45-50 minutes (add another 45-50 minutes to the cooking time, if you are baking from frozen).
So, finally your favorite delicious Italian dish by name ‘Lasagna’ is all ready to serve and it’s the time for you and your guests to enjoy the amazing taste of a ‘Classic Lasagna’.