Comfort-food favorite lasagne has been rising the charts of favorite pasta dishes on US menus. According to Datassential, it’s now the #2 noodle type and #3 pasta dish, trailing only spaghetti and perennial favorite Mac and Cheese! What’s giving this familiar favorite new momentum?
We see a few factors at play here – 1) it’s built for today’s prep-ahead and hold or delivery-style service 2) innovations like our own Lasagne Chef® have made making lasagne more efficient back-of-house and 3) chefs are introducing new takes on Lasagne beyond the standard Italian-American meat-and-cheese.
The classic ricotta-and-meat-sauce version is an American adaptation of Lasagna Bolognese, an indulgent, celebratory dish for the winter season from (you guessed it) Bologna. But there are dozens of traditional takes on lasagne across Italy — eggplant lasagne in Sicily, chicories and taleggio cheese in Treviso, seafood in Liguria. Most lasagne are built with a simple bechamel base. It’s lighter than heavy ricotta, and more versatile, able to take on a wide variety of flavors and ingredient pairings.
We’ve been seeing some of our favorite chefs come up with some new takes on lasagne for modern palates, and the results were pretty delicious. Chef Carrie Welt from Applebee’s took southern-style tomato pie as her inspiration, and included a bacon-tomato jam. Chef Roy Villacrusis adapted the classic reuben sandwich into a lasagne build, using a lamb pastrami no less! Wow!
Want to try your hand at some lasagne innovation? Use the link to get a sample of Lasagne Chef.