Lasagna is one of the signature comfort foods. Typically we reserve its baked, cheesy goodness for colder months, but we’re here today to bring to light a fresh, lighter version you can easily make with no baking whatsoever. While it’s pretty much its own animal altogether, this summery version all but promised us, via enticing images and few instructions, it would finally be bringing lasagna to the warmest parts of the year. The verdict at Full Fork Ahead is we think they absolutely did.
Already you can look at the simple yet essential ingredients shown and know this is going to be an easy fix.
The filling is simply yummy ricotta, a little freshly grated Parmesan, salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Our advice: make double the amount. The original is a tad bit stingy on the filling.
While your noodles cook, go ahead and cook p a simple sauce of sorts simply by halving some grape tomatoes and mincing a little garlic. Stir occasionally until they’re just starting to soften and break down. A little salt and pepper for seasoning and your “sauce” is ready.
Zucchini happens to be perfect for this as it’s in season right now. It gets a fairly thin slice, so you don’t have to cook it very long. It’s still got a little bite to it in this recipe and that slight crispness really lends a light, fresh flair to the lasagna. Not only that, but the green of it and the red of the tomatoes make this dish leap off the plate, color-wise.
So just like you would a regular lasagna, except this time we’re building a serving at a time, start your layers. The tomatoes and garlic go first.
Next lay down a lasagna noodle. Believe it or not, these were cut in half as the recipe suggested, but ours seemed to be pretty long to begin with. It’s OK, tough! Just means more great lasagna for us.
Next spread on a little of that yummy, luscious ricotta mixture.
Or, you know, a lot. See why you need extra?
Next spread on a few of those still very warm (so watch those fingertips) zucchini slices. You’ll do two to three layers per serving, depends on what you prefer.
What you end up with is a very pretty stack of lasagna that is so fresh you’ll practically weep. Better yet, you won’t feel further weighed down by what you ate. The summer heat’s already doing that enough for us! Thanks to this great little recipe, though, you can have your summer heat, a fresh summer lasagna – and eat it, too. Enjoy!
No-Bake Summer Lasagna
from Everyday Food, June 2010
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 16-20 minutes Level: Easy Serves: 4
- 1/2 cup ricotta
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
- 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 8 lasagna noodles, broken in half crosswise
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 2 pints grape tomatoes, halved
- 2 zucchini (about 1 pound total), halved if large and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon torn fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving
In a small bowl, combine ricotta, Parmesan, and 2 teaspoons oil; season with salt and pepper. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook noodles according to package instructions; drain.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high. Add garlic and tomatoes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until slightly broken down, about 3 minutes. Transfer tomatoes to a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon oil and zucchini to skillet; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until zucchini are tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to another bowl and stir in basil.
Place some tomatoes on four plates; top with a noodle and small spoonfuls ricotta, zucchini, and more tomatoes. Repeat layering twice, then top with remaining noodles and tomatoes. Garnish with basil.
Once we had the noodles boiling, we went ahead and started cooking the tomatoes. Once we were about halfway through with the zucchini, the noodles were ready to drain. The zucchini only needed a couple more minutes and then we were able to assemble while all the parts were still nice and warm.
To keep the noodles from sticking, toss them in a little olive oil in a bowl or lay them flat on a foil or parchment-lined baking sheet, again with olive oil.
Next time we’re doubling the ricotta mixture. We didn’t really have enough for four servings.
If you click the source link, there’s a great video tutorial for the recipe.