Costa Cruises, renowned for its Italian heritage, invites you to celebrate National Lasagna Day on July 29. Drawing upon its roots and passion for Italian cuisine, Costa has a special treat in store for its guests – an authentic Lasagne alla Bolognese recipe (see below). This traditional delicacy served aboard Costa’s magnificent fleet can also be recreated in the comfort of your own kitchen. The celebration aligns perfectly with Costa Cruises’ ongoing commitment to sharing the authenticity of Italian culture with its guests.
The internationally acclaimed cruise brand takes great pride in delivering the finest traditional Italian gastronomy on board. Costa’s impressive array of exclusive restaurants and captivating dining experiences offer guests a chance to embark on a veritable gastronomic odyssey. From fresh pasta and artisanal pizza to homemade gelato and traditional aperitifs, the delights of Italy are just a meal away for the cruisers.
Enriching Culinary Adventures Onboard Costa Cruises
For guests yearning for a more hands-on food experience, Costa provides an opportunity to immerse themselves in an enriching culinary journey with a cooking class on a Costa Shore Excursion. These culinary adventures offer a unique chance to learn how to create authentic Italian dishes under the expert guidance of local chefs in breathtaking locales like Bari and Savona in Italy; Barcelona, Spain; and Muscat, Oman.
Tracing Back the Roots: A Brief History of Lasagna
Lasagna, the star of the day, traces its roots back to Roman times. The Latin term “laganum” refers to sheets of dough, and it’s fascinating to learn how this humble dish evolved over centuries. In the 14th century, pasta boiled in water and eaten with cheese was first mentioned in the recipe book “Liber de Coquina,” penned in Naples, Italy. It was only in 1881, in the cookbook “Il Principe dei Cuochi” (The Prince of Cooks), that tomatoes made their first appearance in the recipe. And, the method of layering lasagna, as we know today, was introduced in 1863 in “Il Libro della Cucina” by Francesco Zambrini of Bologna.
Buon Appetito! Recreate Italian Excellence at Home
National Lasagna Day is not just about indulging in your favorite Italian delicacy; it’s also about experiencing the rich culinary culture that has been lovingly preserved and shared by Costa Cruises. So, this July 29, don your aprons, roll up your sleeves, and recreate the taste of Italian excellence with Costa’s mouthwatering Lasagne alla Bolognese recipe. Buon appetito!
Lasagna Recipe from Costa Cruises
For the Bolognese Sauce:
- 30 grams (2 tablespoons) butter
- 2 1/4 teaspoon olive oil
- 300 g coarsely ground beef, not too lean
- 150 g cured pork belly (pancetta) chopped*
- 50 g carrot finely chopped
- 50 g celery stalk finely chopped
- 50 g onion finely chopped
- 300 g tomato puree
- Half a glass of dry white wine
- Half a glass of whole milk
- Broth as needed if sauce is too dry
- Salt and pepper
*The cured pork belly can be substituted with ground pork meat, if you prefer a leaner sauce.
For the Béchamel Sauce:
- 100 g (about 3/4 cup) all-purpose flour
- 100 g (7 tablespoons) butter, cubed
- 1 liter (4.25 cups) whole fat milk
- Black pepper optional
For layering ingredients in pan:
Pasta sheets: fresh homemade or boxed oven-ready lasagna. No pre-boiling required.
Grated parmesan cheese
To prepare the Bolognese Sauce:
- Fry the cured pork belly in a pan until it starts to get some color.
- Add oil and butter to the pan, then the diced celery, carrot and onion and sauté gently for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add the ground beef and brown until nicely colored and begins to stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Deglaze with wine and stir until wine evaporates.
- Add the tomato puree, cover and simmer gently for about two hours, adding broth if sauce becomes too dry.
- Toward the end, add the milk to smooth the acidity of the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.
To prepare the Béchamel Sauce:
- Heat the milk in a saucepan, but do not let it boil.
- In a separate saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Sprinkle in the flour and cook gently, stirring constantly to make sure no lumps form. Cook the roux until lightly golden.
- Gradually add the hot milk beating with a wire whisk until thickened and smooth. Season with salt and nutmeg.
Prepare the Lasagna:
- Grease a pan with butter.
- Arrange the first pasta sheets and cover with meat sauce.
- Add a second layer of pasta and cover with the béchamel sauce. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese.
- Continue repeating steps 2 and 3, ending with the béchamel sauce.
- After covering the last pasta sheet with béchamel sauce, generously sprinkle parmesan cheese and butter flakes on top.
- Bake at 325 ºF for about 30-35 minutes until the top layer is golden brown.
Costa Cruises, with its devotion to providing authentic Italian experiences, is the perfect way to celebrate National Lasagna Day. Enjoy the flavors of Italy, whether you’re on board or in your own kitchen, and immerse yourself in the magic of authentic Italian cuisine.