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Lasagna? Lasagne? The theory is it that lasagna is derived from the Greek word lasanon, which in Latin was translated to lasanum. After the Roman Empire, the linguistic versions split between northern and southern Italy with lasagne being used in the north and lasagna being used in the south. The innumerable spellings of this dish are equal to the varieties of the dish out there. While we may think of lasagna as a tomato sauce-based mozzarella-topped pasta casserole, the dish predates the arrival of the tomato to Italy and has many interesting regional varieties.

Lasagne da Fornel

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Lasagne da Fornel is a Northeast regional form of lasagna that is far from your classic Sunday supper version. In regions like Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Belluno, and Treviso lasagna has a sweet side. Near the Adriatic Sea, where there are bountiful orchards of apples, this lasagna takes a fall harvest staple and mixes it with a variety of dried fruits and spices to make a Christmas-time treat. Alongside the apples, poppy seeds are a must and are used alongside other warming spices. While poppy seeds don’t seem very Italian, these areas have had active trade ports, working with Austrian, Czech, Hungarian, and Slovak merchants, all of which use poppy seeds in their culinary repertoire.


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In central Italy on the eastern coast lies the region of Marches which is famous for a lasagna called vincisgrassi. While this version of lasagna doesn’t sound too out there with the classic bechamel and meat sauce, the addition of sauteed and chopped-up chicken livers is a curve ball from the classic version. Some versions have the addition of sweetbreads, walnuts, truffles, or sweet marsala wine. However, the simple addition of chicken liver changes the flavor of the baked pasta dish completely, setting it apart from other regional varieties.

Lasagna al Sangue

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Boarding France and Switzerland in the western Italy region is Piedmont. While the region is known for white truffles, it houses a unique lasagna called lasagna al sangue. The addition of pork blood into the red meat sauce is a visually subtle change but is a big punch of flavor that can’t be missed.

Lasagna alla Norma


In the southern lemon and jasmine-filled region of Sicily, there’s a hearty lasagna that contradicts the weather of the region. Lasagna alla Norma, supposedly named after the opera Norma by Vincenzo Bellini, is a cheese and meat-packed lasagna brimming with sliced pieces of roasted eggplant.

Lasagna Verde

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The crescent-shaped region of Liguria is commonly known for its famous port city of Genoa, but when it comes to food, Liguria is famous for its lasagna verde. A creamy bechamel base is layered with pesto to create a rich but herbaceous dish.

Taleggio Lasagna

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In the northeast region of Italy is Trevino, which houses a canal-filled city quite similar to the famous floating city of Venice. Yet this region is known culinarily for its taleggio lasagna. Made with the aforementioned taleggio cheese, this lasagna also has interesting ingredients like radicchio and a variety of mushrooms, creating a complex lasagna packed with savory, earthy flavors.

Lasagna alla Napoletana

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Lasagna alla Napoletana is served in Naples, and it is the predecessor to the lasagna famous in modern-day America. This lasagna is rich, made with wavy noodles, this version boasts a bountiful amount of ricotta cheese and a hearty tomato meat sauce, plenty of sausage, and topped with fried meatballs. Lasagna alla Napoletana was served around the carnival season.

Lasagne Bolognese al Forno

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The Emilia-Romana region of Italy has lasagne bolognese al forno which is the lasagna that challenges Naples’ version. With a hearty meat sauce and a heart-stopping amount of cheese, this lasagna is the Cadillac of comfort in the lasagna family. Here, the lasagna noodles are flat and tinted green with fresh spinach and rely on parmigiano-reggiano as its main cheese.