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by Margaret E. Walker

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 cucina.

Lasagna and the tradition of sharing

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 for lasagna

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.


lasagna recipes




Margaret E. Walker is a regular contributor - click for Margaret's kitchen down under




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