National Lasagna Day
Every year on July 29 we celebrate one of everyone's favorite pasta dishes, Lasagna. National Lasagna Day is an unofficial holiday, but one that people love to celebrate, as it is the perfect excuse to eat the delicious dish made with flat pasta sheets, bechamel, meat, and tomato sauce and cheese. Many choose to celebrate the day by taking the time to make their own lasagna for their family and friends, while others choose to take advantage of the lasagna deals and specials that restaurants offer.
Because it is an unofficial holiday, the origins of National Lasagna Day are unknown. We can, however, look into the history of lasagna itself.
The name lasagna is actually the name for the flat pasta sheets that make the layers of the dish, the plural of which is lasagne. There are many stories about the origins of lasagna as a traditional pasta dish, including some reports of similar foods that go back to ancient Greece, but the type of lasagna that we know and love now was first created in the city of Naples, where the first cookbook to include a recipe for lasagna was found, dating back to the Middle Ages. The book was called Liber de Coquina. It wasn't until the 19th century that Italian immigrants brought lasagna into North America.
Since then, many variations of lasagna have been created, some are vegan, some made with seafood instead of meat, others are made with eggplant sheets instead of pasta. Families around the world have developed their own secret recipes that are passed between generations. Some people like different sauces, or cheeses, or herbs in their lasagna. In any case, lasagna is such a versatile dish that there is always a way to ensure that everyone will love it.
Some Facts About Lasagna
- In the 1330s, when the book containing the first recipe for lasagna was written, tomatoes were not yet known about in Europe, so the recipe did not contain tomato sauce.
- In fact, this is what the first recorded recipe for a lasagna was made of local sausage, fried meatballs, ricotta or mozzarella, ragu sauce, and hard-boiled eggs.
- Lasagna sheets are one of the oldest types of pasta in the world.
- In Southern Italy, the pasta was made with semolina and water. As semolina was not available in Northern Italy, in this region the pasta was made with flour and eggs.
- The most expensive lasagna in the world is served in Las Vegas, made with porcini mushrooms, Iberico ham and prosciutto di parma, Parmigiano Reggiano, buffalo mozzarella, Kobe meat bolognese sauce, and the alfredo sauce is infused with foie grais. To finish it off, the lasagna is topped with white truffles and gold flakes. One slice of this lasagna will set you back 100$.
- The most famous lasagna lover in the world is cartoon cat Garfield, and many associate the dish with the beloved character.