Modern day lasagna made its debut in Naples, Italy during the Middle Ages. Back then, it was savoured on special occasions. Traditional lasagna features ragù (meat-based sauce), béchamel (white sauce made from white roux and milk) and Parmesan cheese squeezed between layers of pasta sheets. Variations can be found in different regions of Italy, made from vegetables and meat of choice. Italian immigrants brought their favourite variations to America around the late 1800s, some of which added roasted vegetables and spinach into the pasta layers.
The ingredients used in traditional lasagna are straightforward. Onion, red pepper and garlic are first sautéed in olive oil, and then tomato. After simmering the ingredients, cheese is added to form the sauce. The pasta sheets are cooked al dente, then interwoven with ragù, béchamel, Parmesan cheese and chopped hard-boiled eggs. A different and often popular version outside of Italy has the pasta layered with tomato sauce, mozzarella, vegetables and meat like chicken or beef.
All lasagna are baked till a casserole is formed.
Widely regarded today as a comfort food, lasagna is typically cut into pieces and served as a main course with salad and bread.