Have you ever looked at a slab of lasagne and thought, just for a moment, that if you added some pillowy ravioli to one end, it’d look just like a little bed? No? Well, know that if you did, it wouldn’t be too big a stretch.
Lasagne, the multi-layered Italian masterpiece combining rich bolognaise with velvety bechamel and silky pasta sheets, is nothing new. But it’s seeing a real resurgence around the country as social distancing rules and lockdowns come into effect.
That could be because it’s one of the most comforting dishes we can think of, and we could all use a little comfort food right now (even if we can’t literally climb inside it and take a nap). And because it’s pretty involved to make, it’s perfect for ordering in.
Restaurants around the country know this, too. They also know it’s dish that’s easy to make in bulk, travels well, and for some reason seems to reheat well, too (our theory: a bit of time spent in the fridge dries out the top layer a bit, so it crisps up even more when it comes time for round two in the oven).
So as we see diners make the move from dine-in to take-out, we’re also seeing a lot of lasagne pop up on menus for pick-up, or, for even less effort, delivery.
Melbourne’s Attica was one of the first off the mark, introducing a $60 combo of lasagne, pull-apart garlic bread and salad for two (dinner with matched wines at Ben Shewry’s fine diner would, in the before-time, have set you back $495). Broadsheet then uncovered 1800-Lasagne, a dedicated lasagne delivery service that’s been operating under the radar for years. The owner will drop off your dinner along with some lasagne-specific accompaniments such as merch and natural wine. Looking for a vegetarian option? Try Di Stasio’s mozzarella, tomato and basil number, with a crunchy golden top.
Sydney’s Fratelli Paradiso has always sold lasagne – straight from the oven to the table in one of those old-school dishes for one – but now you can eat it at home in your PJs. And you can get a creamy vegan lasagne you won’t even realise is vegan from Peppe’s, another Sydney fave.
In Perth, Italian trattoria Post is delivering a textbook take (and salted-honey Old Fashioneds), and Capri, an old-school diner that’s been around since the 1950s, is doing an incredibly creamy vegetable version. In Adelaide, Nido’s lasagne has a blistered and burnished top that looks more like something you’d find inside a volcano than a fresh pasta bar, and 63-year-old institution Lucia’s is doing a classic number.
Lasagne is everywhere right now, and it’s spectacular. Here’s where to get it in your city.
Lucia’s Fine Foods, Adelaide. The 63-year-old institution Lucia's Spaghetti and Pizza Bar is serving take-home meals including a classic lasagne to pick-up at its neighbouring deli. It's $10.90 for a single serve, $26 for three to four serves, or $35 for around six serves.
Etica, Adelaide. The Neapolitan pizza bar with the AVPN (Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana) tick of approval is selling vegan lasagne – layers of pasta with eggplant, zucchini and nut-based bechamel – for $25. Call 0404 129 686 to order.
Osteria Oggi, Adelaide. The CBD pasta bar is back in business after closing at the end of March. Its new takeaway menu includes two lasagnes: spinach ($25) with béchamel, scamorza, passata and Parmesan, and bolognese ($25) with béchamel, scamorza, pork sausage and Parmesan. You can also order a large-format lasagne tray (that serves four) for $70.
Stem, Adelaide. The west-end wine bar and restaurant is serving two kinds of lasagne: osso bucco ($32) and eggplant ($30) with layers of house-made pasta, passata, fior di latte and Grana Padano. Available for pick-up or delivery. Serves four.
Ripiena, Fortitude Valley. These fresh-pasta experts are doing three kinds of lasagne, available in small or large serves. There's a classic bolognaise with bechamel, a vegetarian version with spinach, ricotta and bechamel, and a special house recipe with zucchini, bechamel and smoked cheese. Available for same-day pick-up or delivery (pre-order by 9am for lunch or 2.30pm for dinner).
Mosconi, Fortitude Valley. The Mediterranean restaurant is serving a family-sized, cook-at-home lasagne (for $45) with veal mince, mozzarella, sugo and bechamel. There's also a gluten-free option (for $50) that requires 24-hours notice.
Tartufo, Fortitude Valley. The longstanding Italian joint is doing frozen meals to takeaway, including a lasagne with four layers of house-made egg pasta and pork and beef ragu, parmesan cheese and bechamel. Available for a steal at $20.
CJ's, West End. The pasta joint is offering four kinds of lasagne, available in serves for one, two, or family-sized (prices range from $12 to $55). There's beef, sand crab and vegetarian and vegan options.
Amalfi pizzeria, Clayfield. The mobile pizza project turned bricks-and-mortar is doing a classic lasagne with bechamel, bolognaise and parmesan, availalbe as a single serve for $15.
1800-Lasagne, Melbourne. This delivery service will drop off a generous serve of eggplant or beef and pork lasagne ($25), and you can add on lasagne-specific merch and natural wine, too. Order online on Sundays for delivery that week.
Dexter, Preston. The American barbeque joint has become a deli (for now), and it’s making “a crazy amount” of lasagne with 12-week dry-aged beef. A single serve is $12, or you can pre-order family-size for $35. Pick yours up or get it delivered if you live nearby. DM the team for more info.
Di Stasio Citta, CBD, and Cafe Di Stasio, St Kilda. Ronaldo Di Stasio's southside Italian institution and newer city sibling are serving a vegetarian lasagne, filled with mozzarella, tomato and basil, for $28 – “no meat required. Just the delicious little golden bits that everyone loves”. Order online.
Leonardo’s Pizza Palace, Carlton. With the good-time Italian diner’s new delivery service comes a four-cheese lasagne. It’s made with bolognaise and white sauce layered between sheets of hand-rolled pasta, with fresh mozzarella, provolone, Monterey Jack cheddar and parmesan. Get two serves for $19. Order online.
Henry Sugar, Carlton. The neighbourhood wine bar is doing a vegetarian mushroom and sage lasagne. Each family-size portion costs $40 (plus delivery, and a $6 dish deposit for first-time orders). Order online.
King & Godfree, Carlton. This deli and espresso bar in a historic Carlton building is still open for business, and it’s selling heat-at-home lasagne in two sizes – 450 grams for $20, and 2.5 kilograms for $80. Pick up, or order delivery through Uber Eats or Deliveroo.
Lume, South Melbourne. This adventurous diner is putting its vegan eggplant, celeriac, squash, bechamel and “bolognaise” lasagne ($26) back on the menu for pick-up or delivery. More information here.
Smith & Deli, Fitzroy. If you call ahead, staff at this popular vegan spot will pre-pack your order so you can be in and out in a flash. Chef-owner Shannon Martinez’s plant-based lasagne comes as a single serve for $16, or $40 to share.
Half Acre, South Melbourne. The sunny farm-to-table has joined with catering company Food&Desire to launch Food4Good, an online marketplace selling ready-to-eat (or heat) meals. There are small ($22) and large ($40) vegetarian lasagnes on offer, which can feed between two and six people. Or one person for a few days.
Capri, Fremantle. This old-school diner has been around since the 1950s, and now you can get its classic Italian dishes at home, including an incredibly creamy vegetable lasagne for $23. Call to order for pick-up. More details here.
Bathers’ Pavilion, Mosman. This beachfront diner’s rustic lasagne may be a bit of a surprise addition to its elegant, French-inspired menu – but it’ll be a worthy inclusion on your takeaway roster. It feeds four for $55. Order online.
Fratelli Paradiso, Potts Point. You can now eat the sophisticated Italian diner’s classic lasagne at home, for one ($20) or for the entire family ($70).
The Grounds, Alexandria. When you take away the farm animals, cookie stalls and pretty gardens, the fact remains that The Grounds also does food pretty well. Remind yourself with this beefy lasagne, which feeds two for $30. Order here.
Marta, Rushcutters. If you like your lasagne with lots of tomato sugo, this is the one for you. There are three sizes available: one serve for $25, two serves for $45 and five serves for $95. Pick-up and delivery are both available.
Prince of York, Sydney. Chef Sam Bull has layered together a melty, lush, four-cheese spinach lasagne for one ($15) that you can cook at home. Order online. Contactless pick-up and delivery both available.