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Where to eat lasagne in Italy and the UK

The best places to sample lasagne, here in the UK and in its homeland, Italy.

Published 1 Oct 2021, 13:30 BST
Hosteria del Maiale (‘Tavern of the Pig’) is known for its Aunt Emilia Lasagne, an exemplary, ...

Hosteria del Maiale (‘Tavern of the Pig’) is known for its Aunt Emilia Lasagne, an exemplary, Emilia-Romagna version.

Photograph by Musei del Cibo di Parma/Luca Rossi Photographer

Da Giovanni, San Fruttuoso

One of the restaurants featured in Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon’s 2014 BBC comedy drama The Trip to Italy, Da Giovanni serves a delicate, indulgent lasagne Genovese: silken sheets of pasta cooked with layers of bechamel and pesto (house-made using local basil). The location is pretty special too, just off the beach, on steeply wooded cliffs overlooking the cove at San Fruttuoso, one of Liguria’s most picture-perfect historic fishing towns. 

Trattoria Anna Maria, Bologna

Lasagne, tagliatelle al ragu, tortellini in brodo (broth)... All the Emilia-Romagna classics are on the menu at this traditional trattoria in Bologna’s historic university district. Run by the titular Anna Maria for almost four decades, as the gallery of certificates and photos of famous diners on the walls attests, her ragu cooks for eight hours before finding its way between fresh, hand-rolled pasta sheets. 

Ristorante Diana, Bologna

A favourite of chef Mario Batali, this high temple of Bolognese cuisine has been churning out pasta since 1909, and its Sunday lunches are something of a pilgrimage for locals. At the more formal, pricier end of the scale, Diana offers various lasagne, including verdi alla Bolognese, with sheets of spinach-greened pasta. Alternatively, try the trio of pasta: tortellini, tagliatelle and lasagne. 

Antica Osteria Pisano, Naples

family-run restaurant that prides itself on its ragu, which it’s been perfecting since 1947. Set in Naples’ historic Forcella district, this is a good spot to sample a Southern Italian lasagne, constructed with mini meatballs and a sauce made with sun-soaked tomatoes. Call ahead if you’d like to try a full lasagne di carnevale, made with eggs, caciocavallo cheese and salami, among other ingredients, as it’s seasonal (traditionally served pre-Lent). 

Antica Corte Pallavicina, Parma province

This estate, centred on a 14th-century castle, includes a hotel, two restaurants and a farm. Regular customers include Massimo Bottura and Alain Ducasse. Lasagne is unlikely to be found at its Michelin-starred venue, but head to the less formal Hosteria del Maiale (‘Tavern of the Pig’, pictured) for its Aunt Emilia Lasagne, an exemplary, Emilia-Romagna version.

Eusebi Deli, Glasgow

Is there anything better than yesterday’s lasagne? Many connoisseurs would say not. Eusebi’s is made to an original family recipe (with its origins in Southern Italy), containing hand-rolled egg pasta, ground Scottish steak, tomato and bechamel sauce. You can either order it in the restaurant, where it’s reheated from the previous day’s baking, or buy it in the deli with explicit instructions for doing the same at home without turning it into a rubbery mess. 

Princi, London

Don’t be sniffy about ordering a portion of pre-made pasta from the counter at this perennially packed Soho spot. It’s the London branch of a stylish, Milan-based self-service restaurant, and what’s waiting behind the glass is much better than the lasagne served at many UK trattorias. Enjoy it at the communal tables, or turn left for separate seating, where you can mix and match a la carte (rarely including lasagne), with dishes from the ready-made counter. 

Lazy Tony’s Lasagneria, Manchester

A new addition to Ancoats’ long-established Italian diaspora-run restaurant scene, this new ‘slab-shack’ is dedicated to lasagne — beef or vegan — in a five-layer stack. It comes with a simple side of balsamic-dressed rocket salad. The menu also offers some shameless fried, breaded mozzarella sticks and a Taleggio mac and cheese. 

Published in Issue 13 (Autumn 2021) of National Geographic Traveller Food

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