While the earliest iteration of lasagna actually originated in ancient Greece, it was the Italians who made it famous. The family-table favorite rose to prominence as a simple dish of layered pasta and sauce in 15th-century Naples and has been busting waistlines ever since.
At Wink 24, chef-owner Fernanda Borletti eschews the meat- and cheese-dominated classic casserole in favor of a five-layer farmers’ market vegetarian lasagna ($14). Borletti stacks fresh spinach, roasted mushrooms and zucchini between thin, flat sheets of house-made pasta, then adds a rich béchamel sauce spiked with nutmeg, creamy fontina cheese and marinara sauce infused with Italian spices before popping it in the pizza oven. Lastly, she tops the dish with freshly grated, salty Parmigiano-Reggiano to bring out the lush tomato flavor in the marinara, and serves it with a slab of toasted Italian bread for mopping up the velvety sauce.
The earthy, smoky vegetables and tangy, nutty fontina cheese are almost impossibly delicious together. True, the ancient Greeks may have conceived lasagna, but Borletti’s version makes it worthy of the gods.
— Marilyn Hawkes
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