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Pesto Lasagna Stacks

April 11, 2011

For times when you’re craving lasagna but don’t have the time to prepare and bake an entire pan, these individual pesto lasagnas make a great weeknight supper. They can be prepped and on the table is less than a half hour (recipe is from the America’s Test Kitchen 30 Minute Supper January 2011 issue).

Basil pesto is one of my favorite pasta sauces, and while I personally find arugula a bit too bitter when served plain in a salad, I love it in pasta dishes such as this. It adds extra green color to the filling, and it provides a nice bite without being overwhelmingly bitter. There’s no meat in the filling, so this dish is also a great option for vegetarians!

Pesto lasagna stacks

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1  tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 12  no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 1  (6 ounce) package baby arugula
  • 1  (15 ounce) container whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 3/4  cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1  teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1  large egg
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1  (7 ounce) container prepared pesto
  • 2  cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions

  1. Adjust an oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees F. Brush oil on bottom of baking sheet. Place noodles in large baking dish and cover with boiling water. Let soak for 10 minutes, agitating noodles occasionally to prevent sticking.
  2. Meanwhile, place arugula in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave until wilted, 2 to 4 minutes. Drain and roughly chop. Combine ricotta, 1/2 cup Parmesan, lemon zest, egg, chopped arugula, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl.
  3. Remove noodles from water and place in a single layer on a clean kitchen towel. Arrange 4 noodles on oiled baking sheet. Spread 1 tablespoon pesto over each noodle. Spread 1/4 cup ricotta mixture evenly over pesto, followed by 2 heaping tablespoons mozzarella. Repeat with one more layer of noodles, remaining pesto, remaining ricotta, and 2 heaping tablespoons mozzarella. Finish with remaining layer of noodles, remaining mozzarella, and remaining Parmesan to make 4 stacks. Bake until cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown and filling is heated through, about 10 minutes. Cut each stack in half crosswise, and place each half stack on top of its other half. Serve immediately.

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