Lasagna and its habits
The term “Lasagna” probably derives from the ancient greek and from the Latin “laganum” that means limp and springs. Thelasagna is a pasta of rectangular shape used for baked pasta made up of several layers of pastry, lightly boiled, placed in a baking dish alternating and seasoned before terminating baking.
It is a dish of ancient origin, so that its written descriprion appeared in the latin text “Re coquinaria” of Apicius, dating back to ancient Rome. The tradition of its production was maintained till today in Emilia, Romagna and Marche. In this last region this dish is called Vincisgrassi. This term, born in the second part of the 700, refers to a kind of regional variation (especially in the area of Ancona, Macerata and Fermo), but also of the Umbrian border areas the Macerata and Foligno mountain, in whose traditional recipes are also present ham or chicken giblets and possibly sweetbreads, marrow, bovine brains or truffles, while in the dough can enter Marsala or coocked wine.
Lasagna, traditionally prepared by so-called “sfogline” or “rezdore” of Emilia (the lady who cooks) with a mixture of wheat flour and eggs flattened with the rolling pin is not really a pasta. This because the pasta, according to Italian law, can be produced only with durum wheat flour, corn almost unknown in that area unity of Italy. Actually in Emilia lasagna is considered between the “sfoglie” (puff pastry). This is different from the concept of pasta. This term was referred to the product from durum wheat flour and water without eggs. Another exception today deserves the dry egg pasta, invented by the food industry and absent in the tradition of Emilia. This, and more specifically the one of Bologna, seasons lasagna layered with Bolognese sauce, bechamel sauce, Parmigiano-Reggiano and baked. This preparation takes the name of lasagna. Outside Emilia region, this dish is also referred to as “Lasagne alla Bolognese” (in the Bolognese way), due to the typical sauce of Bologna, the “Ragù”, alternating layers of dough and sauce.
In Romagna lasagna was made with spinach in the fresh pasta dough, also known as green lasagna.
In other regions of northern Italy the term “lasagna” can also indicate long strips and wide (about 2 cm) of fresh pasta, to consume almost always dry, more rarely in soups. Even in the Two Sicilies the term, alternately used as “sagne” or “lagane”, indicating long and wide strips, but derived from a mixture of durum wheat flour and eggs or water. In Puglia and Basilicata are used “sagne ‘ncannulate”, that is twisted or turned around a cylindrical support in a helical shape and the egg is not used in the dough. In Naples, this product is called curly lasagna and with it people prepares the typical Carnival lasagna, alternating with layers of meat sauce, boiled eggs, ricotta cheese, plenty of black pepper, fried meatballs and various cured meats.
In Sardinia the paste is replaced by a variety of local bread “carasau”, “guttau” (or guttiau) and “frattau” reduced to sheets and stacked in several layers to obtaining traditional dish called “lasagna of bread carasau”. In Lunigiana the lasagna or “lasagna matta” (crazy lasagna) is produced by mixing the wheat flour or barley or durum wheat flour with chestnut flour in varying percentages, depending on the local and personal habits, from 20% to 60%.