Lasagna might be Italian in origin but there are plenty of varieties of this tasty dish and it seems that many places have their own ideas on what the best lasagna recipe is. In fact, many countries have taken lasagna to heart and either make it in the traditional way, make it but in a slightly different way, or have their own dish which bears more than a passing resemblance to lasagna.
Take moussaka for example – this Greek dish consists of layers of eggplant, meat and potato, and a delicious white sauce. The layers make this dish similar to lasagna and also, according to the history of lasagna, the original idea for it was conceived in Greece anyway. If you fancy a change from lasagna, moussaka might whet your appetite.
In Japan you might find teriyaki salmon lasagna on the menu. This aromatic dish is made with a white butter sauce as well as nori seaweed. On the other hand, what about a Lebanese lasagna? This simple dish is made with chicken thighs, sour cream, mushrooms, and cheddar cheese. An Indian lasagna is similar but expect to find tandoori spice, cumin, garlic, and onions in this one.
In the south of France, the local lasagna features Florence fennel (a vegetable which tastes a bit like aniseed), white wine, Gruyere cheese, cream, and a dash of Pernod or Ricard. Haitian lasagna features conch, which is a type of sea-snail, and also chives, cheese and onions. In Russia, eggplant and basil are very common, and the Russians like to add plenty of mozzarella to their lasagna.
In the fall, a lot of people like to cook with pumpkin, and one of the best ways to use this vegetable is to make a pumpkin and Italian sausage lasagna. This seasonal treat can also feature rosemary and white wine to boost the flavor even more. In the coldest months most people like to make traditional, classic lasagna recipes, since an authentic Italian lasagna is a comfort food which cannot be beaten.
Lasagna is too good a recipe to save for the cooler months only, of course, and if you fancy a nice lasagna in the summer, there is nothing to stop you making it. If you do not want the oven on because of the warm weather, you could make a crockpot lasagna.
Inventing Your Own Lasagna Recipes
If you want to tweak an existing lasagna recipe to give it an exotic flair, you will find this to be easy to do. For example, if you enjoy Mexican cuisine and you want to try a Mexican style lasagna, swap the lasagna noodles for tortillas, some of the cheese for a Mexican blend cheese, and add a pinch of chili powder to the tomato sauce. You could also swap the tomato sauce for taco sauce, and throw in some corn kernels and a sliced jalapeno or two for real south of the border appeal.
Another idea would be to make a Greek style lasagna. If you want to retain the Italian feel of the dish instead of making a moussaka recipe, you can simply add some Greek influences to the lasagna. Use feta cheese in the recipe and add some chopped fresh parsley and mint to the meat. You might also like to serve a Greek salad on the side.