Oh dear! http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/3067455.stm Italy may be a land of lazy lunches and sun-kissed siestas, but challenge its reputation for home-grown cuisine at your peril. With the Battle of Parma Ham not two months over the nation is facing an even more audacious claim. Lasagne is British. It's so British the court of Richard II was making it in the 14th Century and most likely serving it up to ravenous knights in oak-panelled banqueting halls. The claim has been made by researchers studying a medieval cookbook, The Forme of Cury, in the British Museum. A spokesman for the Berkeley Castle medieval festival, with whom the experts were working, said: "I defy anyone to disprove it because it appeared in the first cookery book ever written." Recipe for disaster It is not known whether he has dared put the claim to outspoken Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. But the Italian embassy in London reportedly responded: "Whatever this old dish was called, it was not lasagne as we make it." And Bristol restaurateur Antonio Piscopo fired an emphatic warning shot. "I think it's rubbish. I think it must have been the Romans who brought it over. It is definitely Italian." The recipe does not mention meat - a staple of a good lasagne. And such an early use of tomatoes in food would have had medieval cooks spluttering into their espressos. But it does describe making a base of pasta and laying cheese over the top. It calls this "loseyns", which is apparently pronounced "lasan", although it fails to mention whether it should be followed with a sweet tiramasu and a glass of Amaretto. Pasta faded from the British diet when potatoes arrived, according to the researchers. The hearty roast dinner soon swept all before it.