Food - Drink
Lasagna Napoletana Is The Ultra-Decadent Dish You Need To Know About
Cheesy, meaty, hearty, and Garfield-approved, there’s no question that lasagna is a beloved Italian dish. You probably already know lasagna bolognese, the northern Italian dish served in many Italian-American restaurants, but you may not know lasagna napoletana, an even more decadent version that hails from southern Italy.
A Brief History
The origins of lasagna go back to ancient Roman gastronome Apicius, who wrote of a dish called lagane made of pasta layered with meat. Centuries later, the dish morphed into what we might recognize today, and King Ferdinand II, nicknamed “King Lasagna,” is credited with popularizing lasagna napoletana.
A good lasagna is layered with flavor, and lasagna napoletana has no shortage of layers or flavor. It consists of pasta sheets layered with braised pork and sausage tomato sauce, sliced salami, tiny homemade meatballs, sliced hard-boiled eggs, and a variety of cheese like ricotta, fiore di latte mozzarella, provola, and pecorino.
How To Make It
The sauce for this lasagna is made by slowly simmering onions, garlic, basil, chunks of pork and sausages, a splash of wine, and crushed, whole tomatoes; the meatballs are made with ground pork, breadcrumbs, eggs, salt, pepper, parsley, and a grated hard cheese like pecorino. The final dish usually ends up with five layers.
How To Serve It
While your lasagna will look tempting right out of the oven, let it rest to avoid burning your mouth and to ensure clean slices; once it’s ready to eat, pair your lasagna napoletana with Aglianico wine, a full-bodied, spicy red that also comes from Southern Italy. Leftovers can be stored and refrigerated for up to two days.
Versus Lasagna Bolognese
Lasagna napoletana hails from the southern Italian region of Campania, while lasagna bolognese comes from a northern region, Emilia-Romagna. Napoletana includes ingredients like salami and meatballs, plus softer cheeses and a pork-infused ragù, while bolognese uses minced meat ragù and a creamy béchamel sauce.