National Lasagna Day is celebrated in the United States on July 29. Originally from the Emilia Romagna region which is the center of northern Italy and includes a tradition of fresh rich foods. Each region in Italy has their own way of creating Lasagna. In the southern regions the sauce is likely to be a simple Tomato or Ragu, where in other areas like the northern part of Italy a Béchamel sauce (white and creamy) is used. In Italy and the United States the fillings may vary as well. You can create a vegetarian filling such as spinach or eggplant, onions and garlic, tasty tuna or seafood, sausages and a wide selection of sharp cheeses. Lasagna has become a familiar dish in many other places of the world, from Europe to America. Who doesn’t love Italian food? Through the years Italian mothers and grandmothers have prepared and created many fabulous recipes for their families.
|Great-Grandfather Giovanni |
Plus 2 of her 8 children
Lasagna is made by towering layers of lasagna noodles packed with a creamy filling and made with a homemade meat sauce. The combination of spices, ricotta, mozzarella and Pecorino Romano grated chesses, are what I would call the most perfect Italian dish. It consists of your whole meal in one Lasagna pan. From your preparation, to taking it out of the oven and seeing it bubble with cheese on the top, plus the aroma floating around your kitchen is simply heavenly. Throughout the years, Lasagna still and always will be a favorite among my family and guests around my kitchen table.
To celebrate National Lasagna Day, I want to share my mother’s recipe with all of you. I hope that you enjoy your Lasagna and make it a tradition at your family table.
1 lb Lasagna noodles
16 oz Ricotta cheese
1 lb of Mozzarella cheese (sliced or cubed)
3 / 4 cup Grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Black pepper to taste
Salt to taste
Favorite Tomato Sauce with meat or without
Boil water with a little salt and a little drizzled oil in a large pot. (the oil helps the Lasagna noodles not to stick) Add your Lasagna noodles to the water and let it cook for about 7 minutes. Drain the water and rinse the noodles with cold water so they do not stick, while you are preparing the filling. You want the noodles to be a little firm as you will be cooking them again in the oven.
Mix together in a large bowl, ricotta cheese, egg, mozzarella, salt and pepper. Preheat your oven to 375° F Take a 9x13 inch baking dish and spoon some tomato sauce on bottom of baking dish so the lasagna will not stick. Now layer your ingredients starting with the noodles. Next, assemble a layer of the ricotta cheese mixture over your noodles. Now, spread some tomato sauce over the cheese. Duplicate this process with all the layers and finish off with some mozzarella and a small amount of grated cheese.
Bake for about 45 minutes to an hour until the top is slightly browned and the cheese is bubbling. Let the Lasagna rest for 15 minutes so it is easier to serve. Garlic bread and a wonderful Italian green salad is a delightful addition to this dish.
You can also add cooked chopped meat to the tomato sauce or even sliced or ground sausage without the casing. You can also use the no boil Lasagna noodles.
Till Next Time…..
Copyright 2011 © All Rights Reserved