At Mici, we are lovers of all foods Italian and we know that Italian cuisine is comprised of many traditional dishes cherished around the globe—pizza, pasta, panini—you name it. One of our favorite Italian dishes at Mici is our homemade lasagna, and lucky for us lasagna lovers, there’s an entire day dedicated to appreciating this tasty pasta dish! Each year, National Lasagna day is celebrated on July 29th.
In honor of National Lasagna Day, we’re diving into the layers of history that make up this classic Italian dish. Each of our homemade Mici lasagnas starts out as fresh ingredients in our kitchen, but the dish’s exact history is a bit unclear. According to iFood TV, there are three main theories regarding the history of lasagna and, surprisingly, not one names Italy as the birthplace of the dish.
The first two theories of lasagna’s origin date back to Ancient Greek civilizations. The first theory states that lasagna derives its name from an ancient Greek sheet-like pasta called “laganon.” While both the ancient Greek dish and lasagna we are familiar with today consist of combining layers of pasta and sauce, the ancient Greek version used ingredients different from today’s traditional Italian mix. Therefore, it’s believed lasagna got its name from how the dish was prepared rather than its ingredients.
The second ancient Greek theory believes that lasagna took its name from a different Greek word, “lasanon,” which has two meanings—a cooking pot or a chamber pot. This term is believed to have been derived from the Latin word “lasanum,” which referred to the pot used to cook the layered pasta dish. As time went on, the name stuck with the dish, which eventually was shortened and came to be known as lasagna.
The final theory states that the oldest lasagna recipe was found in an ancient English cookbook, dating back to 1390. The cookbook contained a recipe called “Loseyn,” which called for layering different ingredients between sheets of pasta.
Modern day lasagna, the dish we all know and love, is traced back to the Middle Ages in Naples, Italy. It was considered a savory delicacy served for a crowd on special occasions. Traditional lasagna is usually made with ragù, béchamel, and Parmigiano-Reggiano layered between sheets of pasta. Italian immigrants began bringing different variations to the U.S. in the late 19th century. Over the years, several variations including meat, vegetables, and spinach have become popular.
Today, we hand craft our lasagna daily, in true Italian fashion—with fresh wholesome ingredients and flavor unlike any other. Every homemade Mici lasagna is made by layering pasta with ricotta, parmesan and mozzarella cheese. In each layer, we also add our Cortonese meat sauce (vine ripened tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, sunflower oil, herbs, spices, beef, pork, onions, garlic, carrots, celery, chicken base, and a touch of sugar).
Throughout history, lasagna has been a beloved dish all around the world. According to Guinness World Records, the world’s largest lasagna was created in 2012 by Magillo Restaurant and Macro Supermarket in Wieliczka, Poland. The final product measured in at 25 meters by 2.5 meters and contained 800kg of meat, 500 liters of tomato sauce, 2,500 kg of lasagna pasta sheets and 400kg of mozzarella cheese! It took 5,000 people to create the dish during the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship.
Is your mouth watering yet? Try our homemade lasagna for dinner or your next catering event by ordering online through our Catering Concierge!