I recently read Gino D’Acampo’s family recipe for lasagne al forno, and was impressed by the similarity to my grandmother’s recipe which she passed down to me. This is hardly surprising when you consider the lack of variation in traditional recipes in Italy where the correct method is handed down from generation to generation as in the case of the D’Acampo or Marchiori families.
There are a couple of minor differences, mostly based on the fact that his family come from the south of Italy whereas mine come from the North. Northern Italy is sometimes referred to as l’Italia del burro (butter Italy) and the south as l’Italia dell’olio (olive oil Italy) because these ingredients were traditionally used as the fat in recipes. Nowadays, people use olive oil all over Italy for everyday cooking, because of the health benefits. But for special occasions, I use butter as my grandmother did for the ragù alla bolognese, (bolognese sauce) which forms the basis of lasagne al forno. Try it some time and I think you will agree the taste is completely different from when you use olive oil.