Summary of “Ethiopia and Eritrea’s Long History With Lasagna”

The lasagna served at habesha gatherings is a kind of culinary rebellion, a testament to the transformative connections within our communities.
To watch your mother or aunt prepare lasagna is to know there will soon be love surrounding you-and no shortage of people, either.
Where the original dish combines its eponymous noodles with acidic tomato sauces and soft ricotta, Ethiopian and Eritrean pair the noodles with pungent aromatics, piquant seasonings, and meats common to the region.
Some particularly adventurous eaters-myself included, as long as my mom’s not looking-also season the finished dish with mitmita, a saltier, spicier cousin of berbere.
Ricotta is uncommon, with most habesha home cooks opting for a mix of the more readily available mozzarella and cheddar instead. Lasagna is a curious dish to rally around.
Even within Ethiopian and Eritrean diasporic communities, there’s no consensus on how a standard lasagna is prepared.
Even with slight tweaks-berbere quantity, bechamel presence, and the like-there’s something distinctive about the dish as made by Ethiopian and Eritrean home cooks.
Just as my mother’s tastes have shifted subtly in the time since she first learned to make the dish with fellow Ethiopian friends learning to cook in their strange new home, surely my palate has also adapted to the country of my birth even if it’s not the land to which I am loyal.

The orginal article.