In America we have a habit of taking traditional recipes from other countries and reducing them to their most basic forms. For example, the most popular ingredients for lasagna in the states are ricotta cheese and beef ragu. However, the Italians actually have several different recipes for lasagna based on the region. So here are some traditional lasagna recipes from different regions of Italy.
Lasagna alla Bolognese al Forno
There are actually two types of lasagna alla bolognese al forno, both of which come from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. In America, we are most accustomed to lasagna pasta sheets being yellow, but the more traditional lasagna recipe actually calls for green lasagna pasta made from spinach. In both cases, beef is not the singular meat ingredient in the bolognese or ragu sauce. Other ground meats such as veal and pork are used for the sauce as well. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and Béchamel sauce (white sauce) are also primary ingredients for lasagna alla bolognese.
Lasagna alla Norma
This recipe is from Sicily, and boy do Sicilians love their eggplant. Eggplant is an ingredient in pretty much every traditional Sicilian pasta dish, so finding it in this popular baked pasta recipe is no surprise. Lasagna alla norma includes roasted eggplant, grated ricotta salata cheese, tomato sauce, and basil. This lasagna recipe does not involve meat.
Lasagna alla Genovese
The city of Genoa in the Liguria region of Italy is world-famous for its pesto, so it only makes sense that their traditional lasagna recipe is made not with ragu sauce, but with pesto sauce! In fact, there is no meat at all in this lasagna sauce, so this dish is perfectly suited for vegetarians! Still hungry? Check out these 5 Meals You MUST Eat in Genoa, Italy!
Lasagna alla Napoletana
The traditional lasagna recipe from Naples, Italy is actually a baked pasta dish that is usually only served during carnevale, a holiday festival before Lent. The reason for this is that lasagna alla napoletana is extremely decadent and over-the-top. Not only does it contain the ragu sauce and ricotta cheese for which lasagna is famous, but this lasagna recipe includes full meatballs!
This lasagna comes from Treviso, an Italian city located in the Veneto region. There are versions of lasagna from this city that are completely vegetarian, but you can also add pancetta. The other star ingredients are radicchio, local Taleggio cheese, shallots and mushrooms.