Question: How often do you think about the Roman Empire? Answer: Every time I eat lasagne.

Home | Blog | Question: How often do you think about the Roman Empire? Answer: Every time I eat lasagne.

Towards the end of 2023, the Roman Empire TikTok trend saw men asked by their friends, family or partners, how frequently thoughts of the Roman Empire cross their mind. The general consensus being that men of all ages think about it a lot.

The Roman Empire trend was so popular that #romanempire has been viewed over a billion times on the social media platform. Yet, regardless of whether or not you’re someone who regularly thinks about it, the Roman Empire has had a significant impact. From road engineering to baths, the Roman Italians’ influence can be seen today.

More recently, Italian food (and desserts!) has had a profound effect on the UK’s culinary scene, with pasta, pizza and tiramisu having become beloved staples.

Italian cuisine in the UK: when did it begin?

You could argue that it all began with the Romans, when Julius Caesar led the first Italian migrants to our shores in 55BC. However, it was Britain’s ‘open door’ immigration approach prior to the First World War that truly set the wheels in motion for a gastronomic revolution.

In the post-war period, Italian refugees began to arrive in London. Many ended up working as waiters and kitchen staff in hotels and restaurants. Clerkenwell became home to the Italian migrant community from the 1930s — an area now referred to as ‘Little Italy.’

The first pasta production line came to Britain in 1936 but it was another 20 years – after rationing ended – before the first pasta houses were set up in London. The rest, as they say, is history.

In love with lasagne

Among the many Italian dishes that captured the hearts of the Brits, lasagne stands out as a true icon. In fact, according to YouGov’s list ranking the UK’s favourite Italian dishes, lasagne comes in second place — just behind the trusty garlic bread.

The art of layering a lasagne is crucial to achieving the perfect balance of flavours and textures. Traditionally, a lasagne dish consists of alternating layers of pasta, a rich meat or vegetable sauce, creamy béchamel, and melted cheese. For a vegetarian twist, the spinach and ricotta lasagne from Hey Fresto! offers a delightful combination of earthy spinach and creamy ricotta between the layers.

Beef Lasagne

How long does lasagne take to cook?

While it may be a labour of love, the reality is that making a lasagne from scratch is extremely time consuming. From preparing the filling, making the Béchamel sauce (“besciamella” in Italian), to layering the components, the process demands time and patience.

Given that many simply don’t have the time to do so, the only solution to a quick lasagne recipe is to opt for a convenience option. Hey Fresto! ready meals can be a gamechanger. These frozen solutions allow you to enjoy the authentic Italian taste without the exhaustive preparation.

We offer a diverse range of frozen ready meal solutions, catering to various tastes and requirements.

Traditional with a twist: Beef lasagne with chianti
Our traditional lasagne recipe with a twist is a rich, hearty dish that is perfect for chilly nights.

Meat-free alternative: Sage & lentil lasagne
For veggies, or those looking a meat-free option, our lentil and spinach offers a wholesome alternative.

Kid-friendly lasagne: Kids’ vegetable lasagne
For those seeking easy Italian meals for kids, this sweet potato, red and green peppers and sweetcorn dish is a simple solution that the kids are sure to love!

How can I feed fussy kids?

For parents, encouraging kids to widen their horizons when it comes to food can be an exciting but challenging prospect — especially if you’ve got a fussy toddler! The key is to transform mealtime into a fun, positive experience.

Hey Fresto! offers a selection of kid-friendly Italian dishes that are quick and easy to prepare but also irresistibly tasty. An option that’s sure to be a winner for children wanting a simpler palate, is penne pasta in tomato sauce.

For little ones who are not particularly a fan of vegetables, why not try the hidden veg macaroni cheese? It’s hard to go wrong with a creamy, cheesy pasta dish but the added bonus is the stealthy incorporated veggies which ensure they get the right nutrition. Then, of course, you can’t go wrong with the timeless classic, spag bol!

Italian food near me? Look no further! With Hey Fresto! you get easy, yet tasty, Italian pasta dishes delivered to your door. From traditional recipes to innovative twists, there’s a lasagne dish for every palate.