Friday, May 13, 2011

Lasagna, Deconstructed


The folks at Martha Stewart Living have too much time on their hands.  I know this because I just wandered onto their site to see if I could find a copy of the recipe I had tried from the latest issue of the magazine.  But I could not.  Why?  Because while the magazine offered about half a dozen pasta recipes, the website has recipes for 101!  101 Easy Pasta Dinners!  How many chefs do they have in their test kitchen?  And how many pounds of pasta do they have in their pantry?

I decided to dig out my (torn) copy of the recipe.  (It takes too long to click through 101 recipes to find the one you want.  Besides, the photos were making me hungry.)

If your family likes lasagna, they will enjoy this modern version with lighter, fresher flavors.  The quality of your cherry tomatoes is central to the flavor of the dish, so make sure they are the best you can find.  I used organic.  Taste them to make sure they are sweet.  If they are not, add a little sugar to the sauce. 


Lasagna, Deconstructed
Serves 4
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living, May 2011

1 1/2 Tblsp olive oil
7 garlic cloves, minced (finally, someone who likes garlic as much as I do!)
3 cups cherry tomatoes (2 pints) preferably organic
salt and pepper
2/3 cup chicken broth (check for gluten)
8 lasagna noodles (use gluten free noodles for a gluten-free version)
2/3 cup basil leaves (if small, use them whole, if not then julienne)
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan

Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions until al dente.  (If you are using no-boil noodles, boil them anyway.  It will be fine, trust me.)  Drain the noodles and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the garlic and cook until just golden, about 3 minutes.  Add 2 cups of the cherry tomatoes and 1/2 tsp salt.  Cook until soft, about 7 minutes.  Add chicken broth and simmer until saucy, about 1 minute.  Add the remaining cherry tomatoes and cook until warmed through, about 1-2 minutes.  Taste and add more salt if needed.

Add the lasagna noodles one at a time to the skillet.  Chop the noodles into largish pieces with your metal cooking spoon to make it easier to mix them with the sauce. Add the basil and combine well.

To serve, divide the pasta among 4 plates and top with any remaining sauce.  Drop dollops of ricotta over the pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan and pepper.

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