Wednesday, July 18, 2012

No-Bake Summer Lasagna

Serves 4
Recipe from Everyday Food Magazine
Adapted and Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen

Lasagna just appeals, doesn’t it?  But, heating up the oven in this heat is, well, unthinkable. Here’s a way to enjoy the best of lasagna (the pasta, the cheese, the tomatoes, the garlic) without turning on the oven. My husband LOVED this meatless dish.  He said it made his tummy purr.  We both agreed this was company worthy, however, I’m ashamed to say we consumed it all at once!  Plan to make this for your next Meatless Monday dinner or make it to pack in your EasyLunchbox.  Get the ingredients at our community-owned grocery store, Lost River Market & Deli and the HomeGrown Farmers Markets.

½ cup ricotta cheese or cottage cheese
3 Tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil (divided)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
8 lasagna noodles, broken in half crosswise (If you don't have lasagna noodles, you can substitute manicotti noodles.  After they cook, slice them open and spread them out.  You can also use brown rice lasagna noodles to make this gluten free.)
1 garlic clove, minced
2 pints grape tomatoes, halved (I used 2 large tomatoes and squeezed out the seeds.)
2 zucchini (about 1 pound total), halved if large and thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon torn fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving (**See note.)

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.

**Note:  When I made this, I didn’t have any fresh basil.  So, I used a couple of cubes of frozen Dorot Chopped Basil (see photos below) from the freezer section at Lost River Market & Deli and placed them in the skillet (frozen) with the zucchini slices.  They melted immediately and nicely coated the zucchini.

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