Lasagna?

Most people are aware that lasagna is made with lasagna noodles. The noodles give the dish its name. Lasagna noodles make lasagna and fettuccine noodles are used for fettuccine alfredo. I understand this. However, within the last couple of months I have made my own version of lasagna. Basically, I have removed the noodles and basically replaced them with either (or both) zucchini slices and deli meat. Again I am fully aware that traditional lasagna does not include zucchini or sliced meat. This is my noodle-less version. Someone complained that it isn’t real lasagna. My question is what should it be called?

You can google noodle-less lasagna and quite a few recipes pop up. Some of them include zucchini as the noodle replacement. So apparently I am not alone in my substitution. So we call it lasagna even though it doesn’t have lasagna noodles. There is also dessert lasagnas. They usually include creamy layers and more substantial layers of either cake or cookies; generally something made with flour. They are also called lasagna despite not even containing marinara sauce. So somehow these things are called lasagna. For the food purists, some of these concoctions or all of them, should in no way be called lasagna.

So what should they be called? Casserole? What exactly does casserole encompass? Anything that is cooked in a casserole dish? Are there names for foods that aren’t casseroles but are cooked in the same way? Sorry for the long set of questions but I am confused about what I should call this concoction. If the person is correct and lasagna should only be called lasagna if it contains lasagna noodles, then what are the dishes that replace the noodles with zucchini (aka courgette)? Should the dessert lasagnas be simply called layered desserts? Again, I am accepting that the noodle is what gives the pasta its name. It is why, despite many people in my home area calling it differently, tortellini is not ravioli. I am serious, people where I grew up would call, what everyone else calls tortellini, they would call ravioli. I have no idea why. I apologize for the full blooded Italians reading this and wonder what heinousness we have created.

All in all, I like to experiment with my food. Sometimes it just doesn’t turn out the way I hope. It may or may not taste terrible but quite often it turns out differently then what I thought it would. For now, I am enjoying my version of lasagna. I think it is mainly because I feel like I lack the patience to wait for the noodles to cook all the way. With zucchini slices however, I don’t technically have to wait for them to cook fully. It is moderately okay if they are partially raw. This goes for pretty much everything in lasagna, so long as the meat inside is already precooked. I feel better as I get more comfortable using the remaining proper ingredients: ricotta, mozzarella, etc. I do definitely enjoy making my own pasta sauce when cooking other pastas such as penne. However, I really lack the motivation to tackle both a homemade sauce and a lasagna at the same time. Therefore, for the moment I am using jarred pasta sauce. Yeah, I like the convenience of it. Oh well, hopefully I don’t heat up my apartment too much when I go to cook the lasagna later. Do you think that I should be calling this lasagna? If not, what should I be calling it (preferably a concise title, please)? Please comment with your answers below and thanks for reading.

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