I asked Carol Valentini the owner of Valentini's what she thought in her expert opinion, after years of making Lasagna, she had an answer, but I'll get to that in a second.
The way I make lasagna is sauce in the bottom, lasagna noodles, provolone (or mozzarella or a combo of whatever) noodles, then the sauce with Italian sausage, noodles, ricotta cheese, noodles, sauce, and repeat. I think everyone makes different things in between (had a girlfriend made it with hamburger), but it's close to being the same.
Some people when they make a hot dish layer it too, noodles on the bottom, then some kind of soup, then meat, then potato chips. I know it's not the same ingredients but I am only creating the argument for the other side. So, lasagna could be a Hot Dish.
Lasagna actually comes from a Greek word that means many portions of pasta. Cusina Venti says it may not have started with the flat pasta, but the Italians perfected the recipe and eventually used the flat pasta. So, it could have started as a hot dish right?
Taste Of Home has a recipe for Lasagna Casserole, it definitely is not a casserole.
I decided to call Carole Valentini the owner of Valentini's and asked her, is Lasagna a hot dish or a pasta dish. Carole knew the answer right away. She said, "It's a Fricken pasta dish! Hotdish is what midwesterners call something when they don't know what they are doing and toss everything in a pan or casserole dish and stir it together." (I have to add that Carole said I could quote her).
Here is the way I make lasagna, I use Italian sausage and beef or just sausage, but otherwise this is the typical lasagna.
There you go, the definitive answer. In my opinion, if you make it in a stack with the right ingredients, it's an Italian pasta dish. If you want to put macaroni and lasagna ingredients together, you have Hotdish.,