Culinary historians know that noodles have been enjoyed for at least 4,000 years, but there is some disagreement about where the first pasta dish originated. The first lasagna recipe appears in The Liber de Coquina (The Book of Cooking/Cookery), one of the oldest medieval cookbooks, but many theories exist on how this layered dish came to be named. One theory is that lasagna came to Italy from Greece. The term “lasagna” may derive from the Greek word “lasana” which means a trivet or a pot, or from the word “laganon” meaning a wide and flat sheet of pasta dough cut into strips. Lasagna may also be an Italian adaptation of a 14th-century British recipe, Loseyn, which layered ingredients between pasta sheets. The delicious oven baked casserole that we love today originated in Northern Italy sometime in the late 1500s after Christopher Columbus sent tomatoes to Europe from the New World. Italian immigrants brought their traditional recipes with them when they came to America, but the popularity of the lasagna among non-Italians soared in the 1950s, when soldiers returned from WWII craving for the foods they had eaten while stationed in Italy.
Most commonly featuring layers of lasagna noodles, tomato sauce, and cheese, and flavored with wine, garlic, onion, and oregano, lasagna is one of America’s most loved Italian dishes. There are dozens of different variations with additions such as meats, seafood, vegetables, ragùs, and Béchamel sauces to suit every taste bud. Lasagna is the ultimate comfort food. A big pan of lasagna takes time to create and bake but will have your mouth watering the entire time it bubbles in your oven. The only down side to National Lasagna Day is that it is smack dab in the middle of a sweltering summer month and that means that cooking a pan of lasagna might not rank high on your list of dishes to cook in a hot and humid kitchen. That’s when you turn to your favorite Italian restaurant, Buca! Come to one of our restaurants to enjoy our super special lasagna recipe featuring towering layers of meat sauce, ricotta, mozzarella, provolone, and Parmesan in one of our cool (and cooled) dining rooms. We can also cater your event with party pans of lasagna! Or you can pick up a party pan to take to your home or event.
Whether you don’t have the time to create your own lasagna or it’s just too hot to bake in your kitchen, let Buca help you celebrate National Lasagna Day! The official day is Friday, July 29th, but we’re celebrating all week long from Monday, July 25th through Sunday, July 31st!