- Lasagna is an American spelling.
- Lasagne is a British spelling.
Brown Italian sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic. Stir in a can each of crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and tomato sauce. Season with basil, fennel seeds, oregano, parsley, salt, and pepper. Boil large flat noodles and then spoon alternating levels of the meat sauce, noodles, ricotta cheese with egg, and mozzarella. Most people would find this baked pasta delicious, but not all of them agree on whether its name is lasagna or lasagne.
The Origins of the Dish
Many countries vie for the credit for inventing this yummy dish, but most people today associate it with Italy. In Italian, lasagna and lasagne derive from a Vulgar Latin word that means “cooking pot.” Lasagna is singular, and lasagne is plural. Is this the distinction between those two terms in English? Let’s find some examples on the Internet:
I’ve made this lasagna for various categories of humans since my mom first scribbled it down for me: men, women, democrats, republicans, dimwits, scholars, and foreign dignitaries. I even donated two pans to a charity auction once. The overwhelming consensus has always been that it’s “The Best Lasagna Ever. . .” —ThePioneerWoman.com
A man has pleaded guilty to three counts of theft, one of which included stealing two packets of cheese for a lasagne. —SwindonAdvertiser.co.uk
Just how do you make lasagna or lasagne plural? Normally, plural English words end with -s or -es. Lasagna, however, is a non-count noun. Notice how some writers express the idea of more than one lasagna using a plural count noun and the preposition “of”:
Pans of lasagna and trays of cookies were just a few of the culinary delights that members of Newport Harbor Republican Women brought to the Newport Beach Police Department last Saturday. —NewportBeachIndy.com
It’s important to treat yourself – it’ll keep you satisfied and on track, and stop you from dreaming about mountains of lasagne every night. —EatFitMagazine.com
Alternative Lasagne Spelling
In the quotes above, the first excerpt is from an American blog. The second quote is from a British source. Therein lies the difference! Brits most commonly spell the dish with an E at the end—lasagne. Americans, on the other hand, prefer the A ending—lasagna. Dictionaries usually list both spelling possibilities.
Whether it’s lasagna with an A or lasagne with an E, the pronunciation is the same. The last syllable sounds like “ya”. Here’s an intriguing comment from EggHeadForum.com: “Thank you to everyone who helped out on the lasanya (how do you spell that anyway? !).” This commenter was distressed enough to use multiple punctuation marks! Thankfully, the answer isn’t hard to find. Lasanya, though it sounds reasonable, is a misspelling, unless you are writing in Catalan. The only two acceptable options in English are lasagne or lasagna, and you might still attract criticism if you use the spelling that is less popular in your country.
In your opinion, what is the tastiest thing about lasagne? Is it the pasta? Is it the cheese? The sauce? If you love this dish, you will want to use the correct form for your audience when you write about it. There’s one definite advantage to knowing both the British spelling and the American spelling. You can find even more scrumptious recipes online by googling both terms!