No other pasta recipe is capable of expressing conviviality, warmth and love like lasagna. Yet, passion for this dish is widespread across Italy and the rest of the world.
An ancient dish, a staple in all or almost all regional Italian traditions, and much loved abroad, which thanks to its versatility has once again become trendy. According to a study by Doxa-Unione Italiana Food , baked pasta is in fact the pasta dish most-loved by millennials (the under 35), even more than sacred legends such as Carbonara, Spaghetti with clams and the classic Pasta with tomato sauce. Although women and Southern Italians are especially fond of it, appreciation for this multifaceted speciality is unanimous. Fun fact: it is usually one of our first pasta memories and makes 17% of Italians’ heart race, after Spaghetti with tomato sauce and childhood evening soups.
BAKED PASTA, THE QUEEN OF LEFTOVERS TO HELP QUARANTINED WORLD NOT WASTE FOOD – Timballos and pasta pies were all born as “reused” dishes. And baked pasta is the perfect solution for reducing the food that every people waste every day. All the more so in a historical moment when capitalising on the pantry and refrigerator is a mantra dictated by necessity.
Pasta is the perfect base for an “empty-the-fridge” food tray, filled for example with leftovers and foods close to expiry, such as cheeses, dairy products, cold cuts and cooked vegetables. And if you are facing quarantine alone in your home, it is ideal because it allows you to reuse leftovers and it’s freezable. What’s more, pasta from the day before can be transformed into a deliciously indulgent pie. Italians know this all too well, since today pasta makes up only 3.5% in value of total household waste. Additionally, the ecological footprint of an 80g portion of pasta is minimal (1 sq m overall) and, whether in cardboard or plastic, its packaging materials can be 100% recycled.
LASAGNA FOR EVERYONE: GLUTEN-FREE, WHOLEWHEAT, VEGETARIAN AND… SPATIAL – Sunday lunches are democratic and lasagna is nothing less. While Italian producers have legitimised the production of wholewheat or gluten-free pastas, which have made this type of dish suitable for anyone, there are also lighter variations of the traditional recipes, both in terms of ingredients and cooking times. Olive oil instead of butter, white meat, fish or vegetable ragù, shorter cooking times, and vegan béchamel. And while many chefs have rated themselves with gourmet variations of baked pasta (from Macaroni Vesuvius by Alfonso Laccarino to Post-Modern Lasagna according to Massimo Bottura, which even the New York Times did a piece on), there are already those who have thought of sending it into space. The Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano tried the Space-Lasagna in orbit: a dehydrated and thermostabilised recipe by Davide Scabin, that is lighter than the traditional one, the perfect way to feel at home even at zero gravity.