With frills at the edge of her skirts,
filled with fabulous fillings and topped with tasty parmigiano cheese,
Lasagna is the luscious lady of the pasta world. She can have a variety
of delicious fillings and toppings, both vegetarian and meat and can
be topped with a wide selection of charming cheeses.
Always soft and juicy on the tongue,
a blend of savoury meat, sweet tomato, and sharp cheeses, the memories
of a wonderful lasagna last for far longer than just the moment of eating.
There is something basic and essential about preparing the ingredients,
constructing the dish and finally taking the masterpiece from the oven
the bubbling cheese on top sending its divine aroma wafting around the
Lasagna and the tradition
Many cultures have traditions surrounding
the sharing of food, and this is no less so than in Italy where families
gather at long tables under vine covered pergolas, and share large bowls
of steaming pasta and glasses of wine. The Western world has adopted
Lasagna and other pasta dishes, and of course put its own spin on the
fillings and presentation of each dish. One thing remains standard though.
One must serve Lasagna with a shaker of parmesan cheese, to a family
sitting in anticipation, as the dish is taken from the oven and placed
in the centre of the table.
Sauces and other fillings
In a world where health concerns
have increased in importance in recent times, we are advised to lower
the fat content in our cooking, whilst keeping the good components of
old and trusted recipes. Pasta features in all diabetic diets due to
its ability to assist the body to absorb sugars produced by digesting
foods. I have investigated some low fat recipes as well as traditional
ones, and a selection of those is featured here for you to try in your
own kitchen. Enjoy not only the food, but the thrill of preparation
and presentation on your family table, of this wonderful dish. Use your
imagination and create a sauce of your own, or use the traditional Salsa
Pomodoro. One can create wonderful vegetarian fillings using eggplant,
garlic and onion, or a delicious seafood pasta using tuna, onion, parsley
and white sauce with cheese.
Cheeses for lasagna
The type of cheese selected for
lasagna is one of personal taste. However, the traditional cheese is
ricotta and parmigiana. I find however that there are many low fat alternatives
available and grated cheeses are available in the dairy cabinet of supermarkets
these days. This is especially useful for the busy cook. No need to
sacrifice taste, though as grated parmesan is always available to give
that extra little bite to the topping.