Classic Lasagna

Lasagna is a hearty meal that hits the spot but not necessarily your budget. It’s an easy way to feed a crowd and you can reheat or freeze it and get the same great taste as the original — or better. Make it on the weekend and reheat it throughout the week for easy meal planning.

Basic lasagna is layered with ground meat, creamy tomato sauce and loaded with rich mozzarella cheese. Add a delicate layer of ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan and you have heaven on a plate. Let’s explore the roots of this traditional Italian dish and compare classic and spin-off recipes.

Brief History

It’s a quintessential Italian dish but may have roots that delve as far back as Rome or Ancient Greece. In any case, Italians proudly claim credit for what’s likely to be one of the most delicious foods in the pasta family. Unlike most Italian dishes, traditional lasagna isn’t a fast, simple preparation. Instead, classic lasagna requires step-by-step construction. However, there are modern twists that have achieved great results for chefs in a time crunch.

Interesting Facts About Lasagna

The first recipe book known to feature a lasagna recipe is believed to be of Italian original and entitled the Liber de Coquina, or the book of cookery. It was written in the 1300s.

Unlike other popular Italian noodles, lasagna contains large sheets of rectangular pasta. These sheets are flat or corrugated and provide the textured and foundation of the various layers in the finished dish.

How to Make It

Traditional lasagna is typically made with lasagna noodle, minced meat (usually beef or sausage), cheese and tomato sauce as the primary ingredients. You can find a delicious version here.


There are many variations for home chefs looking for the goodness of lasagna without the high-carb, meat or time-intensive preparations. For example, vegetarians can enjoy meatless lasagna with extra veggies, such as created by this yummy vegetarian lasagna from Martha Stewart.

Those looking to save time might like this microwavable lasagna recipe. You don’t even have to boil the noodles!

This Mediterranean lasagna adds black olives, artichoke hearts and a spicy sauce for a flavorful variant on this ancient dish.

However you enjoy your lasagna, you may want to put a spin on it that can be passed down to future generations to remember you by.