Dish Spotlight: Lasagna

Some recipes require a set list of ingredients, but lasagna is one dish that is always open to interpretation. You can alter the ingredients of lasagna to satisfy your cravings and your guests’ dietary needs. There are vegetarian, meat-packed and even gluten-free variations that use thin slices of zucchini as a substitute for the pasta. If you’re feeling extra daring, you can even give the Italian classic some Mexican flair.

Although we associate lasagna with Italian cuisine, its history is uncertain. The term is thought to come from either the Greek word “lasagnum,” after the type of cooking dish it was made in, or “laganon,” which was a flat sheet of dough cut into strips. The Italians later changed the name to lasagna when the dish was popularized.

Classic lasagna is a baked dish, somewhat like a casserole, with layers of thin lasagna noodles, cheese, sauce, vegetables and/or meat. The dish can be made with a red or white sauce, depending on your taste. White sauces tend to be richer because they are cream and cheese based, while a red, tomato-based sauce adds some acidity and freshness to the dish.

Quality ingredients are fundamental to mouth-watering lasagna. If you have a garden, use fresh vegetables to give the dish a uniquely seasonal taste. Don’t be afraid to experiment with ingredients until you find your favorite recipe.

Lasagna is a timeless dish that is perfect for any occasion. Because there are countless variations, you can choose the degree of difficulty that you want to attempt and how adventurous you are with flavors. It can be both simplified and elaborated upon with layers and ingredients. Pair your freshly baked lasagna with a simple salad and a glass of wine, and enjoy an extraordinary, Italian inspired meal.


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