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Lasagna (plural Lasagne) is a classic Italian pasta casserole dish which consists of alternate layers of pasta, cheese, a sauce, and often other ingredients. Typical of the cuisine of Italy, many regional variations exist. In some areas, especially in the southern regions of Italy, the sauce is likely to be a simple tomato sauce or a ragù, whereas in other areas, particularly in Northern Italy, a Béchamel sauce is used.

The word applies to both the dish and the sheets of pasta used. Lasagna is singular, whereas lasagne is plural. [1] In the UK, as in Italy, the plural term (lasagne) is used for the dish. Lasagne verdi means "green lasagne" (indicating that the pasta incorporates cooked spinach), and has nothing to do with Giuseppe Verdi.

The word lasagna, which originally applied to a cooking pot,[2] now simply describes the food itself.


There are two theories on the origin of lasagna, both denoting an ancient Greek dish. The main theory is that lasagna comes from Greek λάγανον (laganon), a flat sheet of pasta dough cut into strips.[3][4][5][6][7] The word λαγάνα (lagana) is still used in Greek to mean a flat thin type of unleavened bread.

The other theory is that the word lasagna comes from the Greek λάσανα (lasana) or λάσανον (lasanon) meaning "trivet or stand for a pot", "chamber pot".[8][9][10] The Romans borrowed the word as "lasanum", in Latin meaning "cooking pot".[11] The Italians used the word to refer to the dish in which lasagna is made. Later the name of the food took on the name of the serving dish.

A lasagna recipe was featured in the first cookbook ever published in England, leading to an urban legend that the dish was formulated in the British Isles.[12] The claim is dubious, in light of the much earlier Roman use of "lasanum".[12]

See also

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