I tell you, I’ve had it with these “no-bake” lasagna noodles. This is the second time I have cooked with them, and they are just NOT more convenient! Both times they were undercooked and crunchy! Argh! Oh well. This recipe is good in theory. I would make it again, but using regular old lasagna noodles. I DID have problems with the tomato sauce as well. I had planned to use my trusty immersion blender, but once I started using it, tomatoes were flying all over my kitchen! So I decided to dump it all into the other attachment for my immersion blender, which is like a little Cuisinart thing. Turns out I put too much in there, and tomatoes were flying all over my kitchen again! So I had to dump some out and try it again, and they still came flying out, so I said to hell with it, and just dumped all the tomatoes back into the pot. A pureed sauce we will not have. Whatever. Besides the crunchy noodles, this was pretty tasty. This was served with garlic bread on the side.
(Food Network magazine, Aug./Sept. 2009)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1.5 pounds ripe tomatoes, diced
4 tbsp chopped fresh basil and/or parsley, plus more for garnish (I used dried parsley)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 large egg
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
6 sheets no-bake lasagna noodles
1 carrots, peeled into ribbons
3.5 cups baby spinach
1/3 pounds mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
1. Heat the 1/4 cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic; cook until golden, 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, 1 tbsp herbs, 1/2 tsp salt, and pepper to taste; cook until saucy, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a blender and puree. Return 1 cup of the sauce to the skillet and reduce the heat to low; reserve the remaining sauce.
2. Meanwhile, mix the ricotta, egg, Parmesan, the remaining 3 tbsp herbs, 1/2 tsp salt, and pepper to taste in a bowl.
3. Place 2 lasagna noodles over the sauce in the skillet. Layer half of the carrot and zucchini on top; drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover with half of the spinach, half of the ricotta mixture, a few pieces of mozzarella and 2-3 tbsp of the reserved tomato sauce. Repeat the layers, ending with the noodles. Top with the remaining sauce and mozzarella. Cover and simmer until the lasagna is cooked and the cheese melts, 20-25 minutes.
4. Let rest for a few minutes before slicing. Garnish with more Parmesan and fresh herbs.