Richard II’s Lasagne

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An intriguing recipe for a kind of Medieval lasagne, layers of ‘pasta’ (flattened sheets of flour paste), cheese and broth, first appeared in The Forme of Cury (c1390), a compendium of Royal Household recipes commissioned by King Richard II, whose cooks also produced instructions for cheese-filled ravioli and rice with saffron, an early Milanese risotto.

Losyns: Take good broth and do in an erthen pot. Take flour of paynedemayn and make therof a past with water, and make therof thynne foyles as paper with a roller; drye it harde and seeth it in broth. Take chese ruayn grated and laye it in disshes with powdour duce, and lay theron loseyns isode as hoole as thou myt, and above powdour and chese and so twyse or thryse & serue it forth.

Lozenges: Take good broth and put it in an earthenware pot. Take the best quality white flour and make a paste with water and make thin sheets with a rolling pin. Dry it until hard and boil it in broth. Take raw cheese grated and lay it in a dish with sugar and spice powder, and lay the lozenges as whole as you can, and above that more powder and more cheese, and so twice or thrice, and serve.

From The Curious Cookbook by Peter Ross, published by the British Library