Lasagna is one of the oldest forms of pasta recorded. It probably corresponds to the Latin "Lagana" (which in turn was derived from the Greek "laganon": large, flat sheet of pasta cut into strips) and it began to be known as "Lasagna" probably after the year 1000 AD. The first traces of the widespread use of the term "Lasagna" can be found in the works of the most renowned 12th century Italian poets. "Granel di pepe vince / per virtù la lasagna", (a peppercorn beats lasagna for virtue) states Jacopone da Todi. Cecco Angiolieri,on the other hand, warns his readers, "chi de l'altrui farina fa lasagne / il su' castello non ha ne muro ne fosso" (He who makes lasagna with another's flour / his castle will have no walls or moat).
It has long been one of the most well-known and popular types of pasta in Italian cooking, and the simplest and most commonly used recipe calls for a ragù, béchamel and parmesan, although mozzarella has also been introduced more recently.
Delicious "white" versions are also quite commonplace with sauces made from mushrooms and vegetables.
Available in 500g packs
Chitarrina Abruzzese is a typical regional speciality with an original long shape and a square cross section which is smaller that the classic Maccheroni alla Chitarra.
Historically, the pasta was cut with a special tool called a "chitarra" (guitar), consisting of a wooden frame over which thin, steel wires were stretched. The pasta, which was not excessively thin (about the thickness between one wire and another) was placed on the wires and then cut by pressing on it with a special little rolling pin.
This type of pasta is typically eaten with lamb ragù. In certain areas of Abruzzo, the traditional condiment for Chitarrina Abruzzese is a tomato sauce enriched with veal meatballs measuring about one centimetre across, known as "pallottelle".
The Chitarra Abruzzese is also excellent with different types of meat gravy, with sauces made from tomatoes and aubergines, or fish.
Available in 500g and 250g packs