Lasagne (a plural form of Lasagna) is wide and flat pasta. It is a culinary dish prepared with stacked layers of pasta modified with sauces and ingredients such as vegetables, meats and cheese and topped with melted grated cheese. Usually cooked pasta is tossed with other ingredients and baked in an oven. Lasagna is a prominent oven baked pasta dish of fresh egg pasta squares. Lasagna is a traditional dish of Bologna in Northern Italy where sheets are green due to the addition of nettles or spinach to egg dough. In Bologna, homemade sheets are layered with modest amount of real Bolognese ragu and béchamel sauce in an oven dish. Today variations of lasagna exist. Vegetable lasagna, lasagna without béchamel sauce or without any sauce or lasagna without pasta sheets.
Health Benefits of Lasagna
- Carbohydrate source
Lasagna has carbohydrates such as starch and sugar. Carbohydrates are the source of energy to cells that provides fuel to the body in performing day to day functions. In lasagna, carbohydrates come from noodles. A serving size of 2 ounces of white lasagna noodles provides 40 grams of carbohydrates. Determine the carbohydrate content by checking the nutrition label.
- Presence of fat and protein
Meat lasagna is a great source of dietary protein and fat. Body breaks down protein into amino acids and use amino acids for maintaining healthy tissue throughout the body. Protein content on lasagna depends on the meat and cheese used in the recipe. An ounce of each meat and mozzarella cheese offers 7.3 grams and 6.8 grams of protein to lasagna respectively. Mozzarella cheese and ground beef are rich source of saturated fat.
- Source of vitamins and minerals
Cheese, meat, pasta and tomato sauce found in lasagna contains B vitamins which is a group of nutrients that supports body’s metabolism. Beef found in lasagna offers iron for enhancing healthy circulation. Add vegetables to lasagna to boost the intake of nutrients such as red pepper and zucchini.
- 1 pound Ground Beef (93% lean)
- 26-30 ounces spaghetti sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 14-1/2 ounces Italian-style diced tomatoes (undrained)
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 1 egg (slightly beaten)
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 10 uncooked lasagna noodles
1.Heat large skillet by keeping the heat to medium till hot.
2. Put ground beef and cook for 8 to 10 minutes and stir it periodically. Pour drippings and season with salt. Then stir tomatoes, red pepper and spaghetti sauce.
(Cooking tip: Cook ground beef to an internal temperature of 160°F.)
3. In a medium bowl, mix parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese and egg.
4. In a bottom of baking dish, put 2 cups of beef sauce. Place with 4 noodles arranged lengthwise in single layer. Put fifth noodle crosswise at end of dish by breaking noodles in order to fit. Lightly press the noodles into sauce. Sprinkle one cup of mozzarella cheese and top with 1 to ½ cups of beef sauce. Then top with noodles (remained) in single layer, press into sauce. Add beef sauce remained.
5. Heat the oven to 375°F for about 45 minutes or till the noodles become tender. Sprinkle remaining ½ cup of mozzarella cheese. Let it remain for 15 minutes.
- Lasagne is the plural form of lasagna.
- Lasagne was originated in Italy (region of Emilia-Romagna).
- July 29 is celebrated as National Lasagna Day.
- In Southern Italy, the dough was normally prepared with semolina and water and in the Northern regions the dough was made with flour and eggs.
- The common ingredients for lasagne includes meat, vegetables, cheese and pasta and the dish contains a tomato based sauce.