You don’t have to be Italian or a fat, orange cartoon cat to celebrate National Lasagna Day on July 29. Tomato sauce, cheeses, meat, and vegetables — all separated by wide flat noodles — what’s not to love? Lasagna first showed up in Naples, Italy during the Middle Ages and made it to America in the 19th century. Since then, Americans have made it all their own. So this National Lasagna Day, head to your favorite Italian restaurant, or pre-heat the oven and make your own.
National Lasagna Day - History
Ronzoni introduces no-boil lasagna noodles to American supermarkets
The first recipe book to feature lasagna is published in Italy
Italian immigrants bring lasagna to the United States
National Lasagna Day Activities
1. Try a new recipe
Since there are so many different options for cooking lasagna, you should have little problem finding a great new recipe. If you want to try a lasagna with meatballs or even straight up vegetarian, you’ll easily find recipes for both. You may end up finding a new variety that you like even better than grandma’s. (Just don’t tell her.)
2. Search for "Garfield" lasagna references
Pick up a few Garfield comic books and enjoy watching him scarf down pan after pan of lasagna. You’re sure to find a few laughs — even if it’s Monday.
3. Treat yourself
If making lasagna at home is a little more than you want to tackle, consider traveling to a nearby Italian restaurant. Chances are these restaurants will offer more than one type, giving you a chance to try something new. Or the restaurant may have a classic recipe that perfects this classic Italian dish.
Why We Love National Lasagna Day
A. It's gooey and delicious
Lasagna is a mess to make and a mess to eat — and that’s part of the reason it’s so great. So many times when preparing and enjoying food, people make too much out of the way it looks. But lasagna naturally spreads out when it’s free from the pan, with layers going everywhere. So don’t be neat and tidy on National Lasagna Day. Just have a napkin handy.
B. There are lots of varieties
There’s more than one way to make lasagna. Many people have their own family favorite recipes, passed down from grandma, that still taste great today. But your favorite recipe might not be anything like your neighbor’s. That's why this food is never boring.
C. Cat food
"Lasagna — nature's perfect food," says Garfield, the beloved cartoon cat created by Jim Davis. Who can look at a pan of lasagna without envisioning that beloved ginger cat scarfing it down with both paws?