Today is National Lasagne Day, though I don’t think it’s a well-chosen day to celebrate one of the world’s classic comfort foods. Good lasagne–actually, even mediocre lasagne–requires a lot of time in the kitchen, with both the stove and the oven involved. It’s not really something you want to do in the summer, unless there is a special reason.
That said, let’s at least talk about lasagne on its commemorative day. Do you have a favorite, either one you make at home or one you enjoy at a restaurant? Or perhaps both. If so, please tell us about it in the comments section of this entry.
When I wrote Ravioli & Lasagne with Other Baked & Filled Pastas, a Williams Sonoma book, in 1996, I included four recipes for the dish, the traditional Bolognese Lasagne along with my own variations, Tomato, Anchovy & Artichoke Heart Lasagne, Fresh Lasagne with Basil & Bechamel Sauce and, my favorite, Caramelized Onion and Pancetta Lasagne. In Pasta Classics, which I wrote a couple of years later for The Cooking Club of America, I included Chevre Lasagne, with a tomato-onion sauce, black olives and homemade pasta; Lasagne with Lamb Ragu, the richest of all the lasagnes I make; Zucchini & Pesto Lasagne, perfect in the summer and Individual Lasagne with Portobello, Acorn Squash & Mozzarella Fresca, a great fall dish.
Today I would make a few small changes in some of these recipes and would likely add a few more dishes, too. I’d like to do a winter squash, roasted garlic and caramelized onion lasagne, a light summer lasagne using fresh tomatoes and a goat lasagne, now that goat meat is readily available.
In looking through the Seasonal Pantry archives, I discovered that I’ve never done a column on lasagne. This is because good recipes are long and often require several sub-recipes. I’ll tackle the issue this year and figure out a way to do a column on the topic.
In the meantime, let’s raise our forks to one of the world’s great dishes.