Did you know that Lasagna may in fact be British and not Italian?? The Forme of Cury is the oldest cookbook written in English. It was compiled about 1390 by the master cooks of King Richard II. Researchers studying it made a surprising announcement in 2003 - the book contains a recipe for lasagna. The dish, called loseyns in Old English (prounounced "Lasan"), consists of noodles rolled as flat and wide "as paper," cooked in broth, layered with cheese, and baked. This recipe predates any Italian reference to the dish, which leads to the surprising conclusion that lasagna may be British. You learn something new everyday! :)
|The recipe for Loseyns in The Forme of Cury|
- 2 containers (15 oz ea.) ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 4 oz. diced prosciutto
- 2 jars of your favorite sauce or sauce recipe below
- 1 lbs ground beef
- Lasagna noodles, fresh or dry
- 1/2 lbs Mozzarella, shredded
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F
In a small saute pan, saute prosciutto until crispy, about 5 min. In a large mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, eggs, salt, pepper and prosciutto; set aside.
In a large saute pan over medium heat, brown ground beef. Add in your jar sauce of choice and let simmer until your ready to assemble lasagna. If you're using the sauce recipe below, disregard that last step and follow the directions there. In a large pot, boil salted water and cook pasta noodles as per box directions. I usually buy store bought fresh lasagna noodles, you can usually find them in the cooler section. Cooking time for fresh is about 4 min, cooking time for dried about 10-12 min.
In a 13x9 inch baking dish. Spread about 1 cup of the meat and sauce mixture on the bottom. Top with lasagna noodles, then add 1/2 of the ricotta mixture and another cup of sauce; top with 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese; repeat. Top with remaining noodles to cover, add another cup of sauce and top with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
Cover with aluminium foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove tin foil and top with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until bubbling. Let stand for 10 min before serving. Garnish with fresh basil.
Sauce Recipe (optional)
- 1 3/4 lbs ground beef
- 1/2 cup minced onion
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
- 2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 Tbsp white sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp dried basil leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
In a Dutch oven, cook ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
This is a great red sauce in general, you can make a large batch of this and can it or freeze it for quick meals.
Song of the Recipe