July 11, 2012

Rustic Lasagne

With fresh grape or cherry tomatoes (especially with both yellow and red together) and basil from the garden, this is one of our absolute favorite pastas/summer meals. The original recipe that inspired this came from Martha Stewart Living where it was called "No-Bake Lasagna with Ricotta and Tomatoes." I've renamed it with this more romantic and, I think, more apt, title. :) 

Over time I've adapted the recipe. The original calls for lasagne noodles, broken up. I like that fine, but make it more often with other medium sized pastas that are ready to use out of the box and stir together more easily (and are less messy to eat). Also, the original calls for a half a pound of pasta; my family has grown to the point that the four of us can't really make a meal out of less than a whole box of pasta. So I now make this with twice the pasta, and twice the amount of chicken broth than the original calls for. There are plenty of tomatoes and garlic in here already so no other amounts needed to change. This pasta may seem awfully simple and not too saucy when you get it stirred all together, but the sliced up garlic (not minced) and partially cooked sweet tomatoes give it so much flavor and it really all comes together when you serve it at the table-- each person gets dollops of ricotta, big shavings of Parmesan (use a vegetable peeler for large pieces rather than a traditional cheese grater), a drizzle of oil, and some extra salt and pepper. Just try to resist seconds (thirds, fourths...).


Rustic Lasagne
adapted from Martha Stewart Living, May 2011

1 T + e-v olive oil
7 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 pints red and/or yellow cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
s & p
1 1/3 C chicken stock
1 lb. lasagne noodles, broken up, or any pasta
2/3 C small basil leaves, sliced a bit

For the table:
Olive oil to drizzle
ricotta cheese 
Parmesan cheese, to shave
s & p 

Heat 1 T oil in high-sided skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic until pale golden, about three minutes. 

Add half the tomatoes and 1/2 t salt. Cook until soft, about 7 minutes. 

Add stock. Simmer until sauce-like, a few minutes. (Stop here if prepping this dish early. Continue with next step about 2 minutes before you are ready to serve.) 

Add remaining tomatoes. Cook until warm, 1 to 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta until al dente. Drain. Toss pasta in skillet to coat. Stir in basil.

Serve pasta onto plates/pasta bowls. Dot with ricotta (about 2 T per person), drizzle with oil, top with shaved cheese, and season with salt and pepper. 

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