Pasta, lasagne – Oh, Mamma Mia, Italy. But wait, it appears that lasagne, just like pasta, is not an Italian invention.
In a 5th century, Roman cookery book Apicicus (named after a Roman gourmet and lover of refined luxury), a dish similar to the traditional lasagne is described – layers of pasta-like food which separated the filling and served in the ‘lasagnum’ bowl.
As when comes to the British, they had they lasagne in 14th century. An extensive collection of recipes from that period, collected in the Forme of Cury (cury from the French cuire – cooking) by the so proclaimed authors “the chief master cooks of King Richard II”, lists the loseyn dish.
According to the published in 1390 recipe, the loseyn is made up of ‘thynne foyles’ of pasta boiled in broth and topped with cheese. Of course, the tomato was not yet known in Europe, it was brought by Columbus a whole century later.
The documented history of lasagne in Italy, starts a bit earlier, at the beginning of 14th century when the first modern recipe was created and published in one of the oldest mediavel cookbooks Liber de Coquina (The book of cooking/cookery). The dish was described as typical for the region of Naples, called lasanis and consisting of flat pasta sheets, cheese, butter, broth and spices.
The first written interpretation of the Italian meaning of lasagne into English comes from the 1760 Guiseppe Baretti’s Dictionary of the English and Italian languages “Lasagna, a kind of thin paste cut into slices and dry’d, boiled in water or broth”.
Nowadays we can find many different types of lasagne, from the classical one with ground beef, tomatoes, grated cheese and mozzarella to a variaty of vegetarian recipes with eggplants and zucchini to dessert ones with ricotta cheese and chocolate. And for a best taste – let a proud Italian cook it for you.