Italians seem to think that lasagna is as ancient as Rome, but still there were times when people did without this marvelous dish. However, archeological research shows that the Ancient Greeks and Romans had discovered some form of flattened dough - a broad noodle called in Greek 'laganon.' Apicius, a Roman writer of the first century AD describes a pasta made "to enclose timballi and pies..." These were called "lagana.' The recipe for the dough is not given, however there are suggestions for layering and seasoning with meat and fish.
On the other hand, historians claim that it was Italy, which was the motherland of lasagna and linguini.
Evidence has come to light suggesting that a very similar meal known as "loseyns" (pronounced 'lasan') was eaten in the court of King Richard II in the 14th Century. Lasagna recipe was also featured in the first cookbook ever written in England. Nevertheless, Lasagna was first recorded in the 13th century when it was used in a layered dish. This early version did not include tomatoes, which had not yet been discovered by Europeans.
The word "lasagna" itself comes from the Greek word "lasanon" meaning chamber pot. The word was later borrowed by the Romans as "lasanum" to mean cooking pot. The Italians then used the it to refer to the dish in which what is now known as lasagna is made. The word lasagna or lasagne (plural) now simply applies to the dish itself. But all that we call lasagna is nothing but noodles with a special kind of pasta- all that is easy to cook, but the results produced are perfect!
Some experienced cooks, however, claim that boiling the large noodles needed for lasagna can make even a seasoned cook get angry as they are really very awkward to cook. A tasty, almost perfect alternative is lasagna noodles made especially for baking, as they require no boiling beforehand. You don't need to buy those "no-boil" noodles...use plain old lasagne noodles and don't boil them first. I use a rubber scraper to spread the ricotta cheese right onto the hard noodle before it goes in the pan. It makes layering so much faster and the noodles will cook right in the sauce, plus absorb the excess oil -your lasagna servings will be firmer and not soupy.
This makes lasagna an easy dish for anyone (regardless of cooking experience) to make- so why not make your husband please you with lasagna?
Many recipes require several kinds of cheese, most often ricotta and parmesan. The classic Lasagne alla Bolognese uses only Parmigiano Reggiano. If you have not any of them at hand- not a problem.
Add a raw egg to cottage cheese before assembling the lasagna, and even a little cinnamon- it will taste more like ricotta, but will be cheaper.
Many recipes also add bechamel sauce (besciamella). A variant is Lasagne verde (green lasagne) which is the normal egg pasta with spinach added. You can easily make vegetarian lasagna by chopping leftover vegetables and adding them to the sauce (Italian parsley has flat leaves, rather than curly ones, and has a stronger flavor than regular parsley).