Post is also available in: Italian
traditional italian lasagna are one of the most representative dishes of Italian cuisine together with pizza. And like pizza, there are many variations. The Italian Lasagna that I propose today are really traditional and easy, fresh egg pasta, meat sauce, béchamel and parmesan. The result is a tasty, soft and light lasagna. The lasagna is rolled thinly and roughly to accommodate the sauce well.
The classic shape of the lasagna is rectangular, but I wanted to try making a single portion, using the pasta cutter, and it turned out really nice. It can be an original way to present it on the table for the holidays or for a special dinner. Obviously the doses of the recipe will be to prepare the classic lasagna pan or rather, more than one pan, because one is never enough!
The Birth of Traditional Italian Lasagna
The history of traditional italian lasagna is dotted with many citations that trace it back to the Roman era. Obviously the Romans din’t eat the lasagna we know today, it was a kind of bread baked in the oven or directly on the fire and was called “laganon” or “laganum” respectively from the Greek and the Roman. the name of this “dish” came from the pot in which they were cooked. Also in Roman times, it began to be called “lagana” and between the various layers of pasta they began to insert pieces of meat.
During the Middle Ages the dish became really popular, but only during the Renaissance did it begin to be prepared with egg pasta. In this period cheese was used among the sheets of pasta. The union of these two recipes gave birth in the 17th century to the first form of lasagna, a layered pasta stuffed with meat and cheese. A century later, the tomato sauce was added thanks to Naples and in 1881 we have the first written that reported a recipe for lasagna with tomato.
Here begin a calm dispute between Bologna and Naples for the authorship of the dish. As the history of this dish has evolved, both cities have contributed to the creation of the traditional italian lasagna that we know and love today. In 2003 the Academy of Italian Cuisine filed the recipe for “Lasagna alla Bolognese” which includes the classic Bolognese Ragù, Parmigiano Reggiano, bechamel, butter and green sheet prepared with spinach. In Italy they are called “Lasagne al Forno” or simply “Lasagne” while abroad they are called “Lasagne alla Bolognese”.
The Neapolitan Lasagna, on the other hand, includes Neapolitan ragù, fried meatballs, Roman ricotta, provola (smoked mozzarella) or mozzarella, pecorino, extra virgin olive oil and white pasta, and boiled eggs, the latter are optional as is the use of bechamel.
Traditional Italian Lasagna Variation
Obviously throughout Italy there are different variations of the recipe, adapted to the region of belonging for example:
- In mountainous areas the ragù is prepared with mushrooms or only mushrooms without tomatoes are used;
- Lasagne alla Ligure with pesto, potatoes and green beans;
- Lasagne alla Veneta which take the name of Pasticcio Trevigiano prepared with Red Radicchio;
- In Umbria and Marche there are Vincigrassi, prepared with a coarse ragù of mixed meat, chicken giblets and a particularly firm béchamel. In the most ancient recipes, truffle and Marsala wine or vin cotto are also used in the dough;
- Sicilian lasagna with pea ragout, cooked ham, hard-boiled eggs, fried meatballs, bechamel, semi-hard cheeses. Sometimes fried aubergines, and the ricotta is also added to replace the béchamel;
- In Abruzzo there are Sagnitelle which are not stratified, made with water and flour, prepared like Neapolitan lasagna but without the béchamel;
- In Piedmont, more precisely in the Langhe area, they are prepared with pig’s blood or hare instead of tomato sauce;
- In Puglia and Basilicata the pasta is prepared with water and wheat semolina and is called Sagne ‘Ncannulate (incanulate, that is twisted). The strip of pasta is rolled up on itself by hand, creating a sort of ringlet, and they are served with tomato sauce;
- In Molise instead, there are the Sagne a Pezzate, a sort of sliced lasagna;
Traditional italian lasagna is a very popular dish that in some regions changes not only the name but also the shape.
Traditional Italian Lasagna
- Pasta Machine
- 200 g Pastry Flour
- 100 g Durum Wheat Semolina Re-Milled
- 2 Eggs
- 1 Yolk
- 520 g Tomato Sauce or a mix of Tomato Sauce and San Marzano in
- 1 kg Minced Beef preferably not lean
- 2 stems Celery
- 1 Carrot
- 1 ½ Yellow Onion
- 1 Italian Pancetta
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 3 tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- to taste Black Pepper
- to taste Salt
- to taste Water
- 1 l Milk
- 100 g Pastry Flour
- 100 g Butter
- to taste Nutmeg
- to taste Black Pepper
- to taste Salt
- to taste Parmesan Cheese
- Wash the vegetables, and cut them into cubes as large as the minced meat. Chops the onion.
- Cut the pancetta into small cubes.
- In a large pot, put 3 tbs of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and put it to heat. Once hot, brown the bacon. When it has released the fat, add the vegetables and continue to brown.
- Once the onion and celery have become translucent add the meat and brown everything perfectly over medium heat for at least 10 – 15 minutes.
- Once well browned, add the other ingredients, lower the heat, cover and cook over low heat for at least 3 ½ hours. The longer it cooks the better.
- Mix the semolina with the flour, create a fountain and place the eggs in the center.
- With the help of a fork, start mixing the egg with the semolina and then start kneading.
- Once you have a homogeneous and smooth dough, wrap it in plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, start rolling the dough. Cut the dough into 2 or 3 parts and start rolling it out from size 0. Flour lightly from time to time when needed. Try to get a sheet with even edges and thin it to size 7.
- Create the sheets, cut them to size according to the pan you decide to use and stack them without forgetting to put flour between one sheet and the other.
- In a saucepan, heat the milk.
- In another pot, start melting the butter. Once melted, he lowers the heat and add the flour. With a whisk, mix to create a smooth Roux.
- Keeping the heat low, start adding a little milk at a time continuing to mix. Continue until the milk runs out. Slightly raise the fire and cook until it starts to boil. Turn off and season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Compose the Lasagna
- On the bottom of the pan sprinkle a spoonful of bechamel and one of sauce and start placing the first sheets. Create a layer of sauce and then one of bechamel, cover with the pastry and repeat. In total, make three layers of dough.
- On the third layer of pasta, after having put the sauce and then the bechamel, sprinkle the surface with grated Parmesan.
- Cover the lasagna with aluminum foil and bake them in the oven at 170 ° C for 40 – 45 minutes. During the last 10 – 15 minutes remove the aluminum foil to brown the surface.
- Preparing the lasagna a day before will make them firmer, because the liquids will be reabsorbed and will also be more tastier;
- Lasagna can also be frozen, maybe use the aluminum pan and use their lid to freeze them. To cook them, heat the oven to 180 ° C and cook them while
they are still frozen, remember to remove the lid;
Did You Make This Recipe? Tag @RecipesJourney on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #recipesjourney