Happy National Lasagna Day – Take the Quiz!

Garfield the Cat and Lasagna

LASAGNA: Facts & Trivia

Green lasagna (lasagna verde) is flavored with spinach and pink lasagna is flavored with tomato

The etymology of the word lasagna is amusing. It starts with the Greek lasanon which means ‘chamber pot’! The Romans borrow it as lasanum to humorously refer to a ‘cooking pot’. Later, the Italian word lasagne (plural of lasagna) came to refer to a dish cooked in such a pot – flat sheets of pasta layered with minced meat and tomatoes topped with grated cheese. Soon, the word lasagna was applied to the pasta itself.


Do you know Lasagna like Garfield does?  Take this quiz!

Question 1: When do historians believe the first lasagna noodle appeared?

A. Renaissance era
B. Middle Ages
C. Modern Era


Question 2: True or False? In Italy, you seldomly find rippled lasagna noodles.

Question 3: Aside from tomato sauce, what other sauce is frequently added to lasagna?

A. Hollandaise
B. Velouté
C. Béchamel


Question 4: Just how heavy was the largest lasagna ever created?

A. 1 ton
B. 5 tons
C. 8 tons


Question 5: Which cartoon feline has a famous affinity for lasagna?

B. Healthcliff
C. Garfield


Actress Sophia Loren

Italian-born Sofia Scicolone became the sex-pot we all know as Sophia Loren.

Question 6: This is probably the most popular type of pasta. Sophia Loren has said that she owes everything she has to it. Rossini used a large plate of it to resolve the plot of his opera “L’Italiana in Algeri” (pasta ex machina?). People often struggle to eat it gracefully; the trick is to twirl it around your fork. What am I talking about?

A. Fettuccine
B. Lasagne
C. Penne
D. Spaghetti


Question 7: This cut of pasta resembles the writing end of an old fashioned quill pen, hence its name. It is tubular and cut on the diagonal.
A. Ditalini
B. Penne
C. Ziti
D. Conchiglie

Question 8: Another tubular pasta is named for the grooves, or ridges along its sides which help it hold onto the sauce.
A. Rigatoni
B. Orecchiette
C. Farfalle
D. Conchiglie

Question 9: The name for this pasta translates to “little ears”, which they resemble.
A. Rotini
B. Malloreddus
C. Orecchiette
D. Lumache

Question 10: There are two names for this type of pasta, which consists of very thin hollow tubes. When cooked, they resemble thick spaghetti. One name is bucatini (from the word “buco”, meaning hole). What is the other name?
A. Tagliatelle
B. Vermicelli
C. Perciatelli
D. Fusilli

Question 11: Which of the following is NOT a stuffed pasta?
A. Tortellini
B. Malloreddus
C. Agnoli
D. Cappellacci

Question 12: This type of spaghetti is handmade on an implement resembling a zither or a box-shaped harp. It has many wires running across. The pasta dough is rolled across and falls through cut into thin strands. What is the name for this type of pasta?
A. Tagliatelle
B. Pasta alla chitarra
C. Trenette
D. Maltagliati

Question 13: This type of pasta is usually made from scraps of dough cut irregularly into triangles. It is principally used in soups. Its name means “badly cut”. Which is it?

A. Malloreddus
B. Trenette
C. Tagliatelle
D. Maltagliati

Question 14: “Little worms” and “little tongues” are the rather unappetizing translations of the names of these two pastas.
A. Vermicelli and linguine
B. Fettucicne and linguine
C. Vermicelli and fettuccine
D. Tagliatelle and linguine

Question 15. Of the following, three are types of pasta, the fourth is a name for almond paste. Which one is the odd man out?
A. Pasta alla Chitarra
B. Pasta Casalinga
C. Pasta Reale
D. Pasta Grattata

Question 16. Gnocchi is a type of dumpling which is usually made from potatoes and flour, but can also be made from rice, ricotta cheese, pumpkin, or even bread crumbs. Or they may be flat discs made from a semolino mixture, layered in a pan, and baked with either a sauce or butter and cheese on top. Which is the name for the traditional potato gnocchi?
A. Gnocchi di zucca
B. Gnocchi di riso
C. Gnocchi verdi
D. Gnocchi di patate

Question 17. In what way are tortelloni different from tortellini?
A. Tortelloni are larger.
B. Tortelloni are made with spinach in the dough.
C. Tortelloni are filled with meat, tortellini with cheese.
D. Tortelloni are shaped differently.

Quesiton 18. Bow-tie pasta is known by this name in Italian, which means “butterflies.”  

bow-tie pasta

Bow-tie pasta

A. Pappardelle
B. Farfalle
C. Mafalde
D. Capellini

Question 19. Spaghetti and meatballs is the most common pasta dish served in America. If you wanted to order this in Italian, what would you ask for?
A. Spaghetti con le salsicce
B. Spaghetti con polpette
C. Spaghetti con le vongole
D. Spaghetti con le melanzane

Question 20. Ragu is the brand name of an American brand of pasta sauce, not the name of an actual Italian pasta sauce.


Question 21: This sauce is named for the “ladies of the evening”. It is quickly prepared and contains tomatoes, peperoncini (small hot peppers), olives, garlic, capers, and anchovies. Which of these is it?
A. Aglio e’ olio
B. Puttanesca
C. Arrabbiata
D. Carbonara


Question 22. This meat sauce is named from its city of origin, which is known for the richness of its cuisine. It contains meat, tomatoes, and cream and, as traditionally made, is seasoned with cinnamon.
A. Bolognese
B. Carbonara
C. Pugliese
D. All’aragosta

Douglas Fairbanks Sr. in 1924 movie "The Thief of Bagdad"

Douglas Fairbanks Sr. in the movie The Thief of Bagdad (1924).

Question 23. Fettuccine Alfredo, created at the restaurant “Alfredo” in Rome, is popular with American tourists. It was created in the early 1900s by chef Alfredo di Lelio for his wife, who had just given birth. It was later served to the American actors Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks; they loved it and it became a favorite of visiting celebrities ever since. American versions of this dish are made with an “Alfredo sauce”, containing cream, butter, cheese, egg yolk, etc. However the original dish uses only these two ingredients.
A. Double cream (crema doppia) and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
B. Triple butter (triplo burro) and crema doppia (double cream)
C. Triple butter (triplo burro) and grated pecorino Romano
D. Triple butter (triplo burro) and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


Question 24. Pesto, a green herb sauce from Genoa, has become a “trendy” dressing for pasta in America in the past two decades. What are its traditional ingredients?
A. Fresh basil, olive oil, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, and cream
B. Fresh basil, olive oil, garlic, and grated Pecorino-Romano
C. Fresh basil, olive oil, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, and butter.
D. Fresh basil, olive oil, fresh garlic, pine nuts, and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


Question 25. Pasta served “all’ Arrabbiata” is made with a tomato sauce containing this key ingredient.
A. Lobster
B. Anchovies
C. Vodka
D. Hot crushed pepper

Question 26. Two kinds of fettuccine, regular egg fettuccine and fettuccine verde (green fettuccine made with spinach) are used to make “Paglia e fieno”, a dish containing cream, butter, cheese, and possibly prosciutto. What does the name “paglia e fiene” mean in English?
A. Grass and straw
B. Green and yellow
C. Hay and straw
D. Grass and hay

Question 27. If you wanted linguine with clam sauce, you would ask for this in Italy.
A. Linguine ai gamberi
B. Linguine alle vongole
C. Linguine alle conchiglie
D. Linguine alle capesante

Question 28. What is the name for pasta tossed with egg yolk, pancetta (bacon), grated cheese, and cracked black pepper?
A. Carbonara
B. All ‘amatriciana
C. Bolognese
D. Puttanesca

Question 29. Pasta “Aglio e olio” traditionally uses these two ingredients.
A. Olive oil and anchovies
B. Garlic and butter
C. Olive oil and garlic
D. Garlic and parsley

Question 30. Cannelloni is a stuffed, tubular pasta; what stuffing and topping is most typically used?

A. A meat filling and a bechamel (white) sauce.
B. A ricotta cheese filling and a tomato sauce.
C. A vegetable filling and a topping of butter and cheese.
D. A meat filling and a topping of tomato sauce.


Check in tomorrow for the answers!  


Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Coconut Frosting

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Coconut Frosting
Photo by Taste of Home©

Yield: 12 to 15 Servings


  • 1/2 c. butter, softened
  • 1/2 c. canola oil
  • 1 3/4 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 c. baking cocoa
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  •  1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk
  • 2 c. shredded zucchini


  • 1 c. flaked coconut
  • 6 Tbsp. butter, softened
  • 2/3 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 c. milk


  1. In a large bowl, beat the butter, oil and sugar until smooth.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in vanilla.  Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and cloves; gradually add to batter alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.  Fold in zucchini.
  2. Pour into a greased 13×9 inch baking pan.  Bake at 325 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the frosting ingredients. Spread over warm cake. Broil 4 to 6 inches from heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool completely.
Originally published as Chocolate Zucchini Cake in Taste of Home June/July 2006, pg.39