Lasagna: A Brief History

Lasagna, one of the most celebrated of the Italian food staples, has a long and luxorious history. The term "lasagna" comes from the Greek word, "lasagnum," meaning dish or bowl. The ancient Greeks used baking dishes of that name, which they eventually transferred to the Romans. The Romans, who ended up using the same style of dish, also developed a type of food which they used the term "lasagnum" for: it was served in said dish, with layers of a pasta-like food with other fillings in-between. With the extent of the Roman empire, this new "lasagnum" dish spread all across Europe, eventually reaching Britain, where it was published in the very first cookbook.

After remaining dormant for many decades, the early form of lasagna once again surfaced. The early Italians changed the name from "lasagnum," to "lasagna," which is the current form. Over the years, the word "lasagna" began to change definitions; the word previously referred to the serving dish it was baked in, but began to simply mean the delicious pasta meal in the dish itself. In modern cooking terms, it now means layers of thin pasta, with meat, cheese, and tomato sauce squeezed in between. Lasagna sure has come a long way.