Of course, as is the case with most historic cuisines, Lasagne has experienced many different forms and evolved over the centuries. I would like to attempt to untangle its knotted past.
To begin with, the practice of mixing flour and water to create dough which is then boiled to become pasta dates back to the Middle Ages. Egg would be introduced to the mix much later, in the Renaissance.
There are at least two variations of name origins for Lasagne: Ancient Greek and Greek adapted by Romans. First known form of pasta is a flat sheet of bread – Laganon – from Ancient Greece. It is not the lasagne as we know it in a traditional sense, but simply layers of sauce between the pasta sheets. Another possible origin is the word Lasana, which meant “chamber pot” in Greek. Romans then transformed it into Lasanum to translate as “cooking pot”.
Where the Greek seem to have claim on the origins of the name, Britain has the first documented recipe. It dates back to 1390s and appears in a British cookbook as discovered by researchers.
However, as expected, Italy should be acknowledged for perfecting the layers and ingredients of this famous pasta dish. It is in Naples that this particular pasta originated with its traditional tomato sauce, Parmesan cheese, Béchamel and spinach induced dough for layers of pasta.
As the dish had become increasingly popular, it started spreading all across the world and variations of it have been introduced in America in 1800s.
While the preferences vary from one consumer to another, it is fair to say that Lasagne can satisfy every person with its diversity of full and rich tastes.
Make your own:
1kg beef mince
2 onions, diced
2 tins chopped tomatoes
Handful of black peppercorns
dash of salt and pepper
Small onion, diced
...and lasagne sheets and 100g grated cheese