Although I wouldn't consider a classic lasagna to be a fast and easy weeknight meal option, this variation, with a simple asparagus-ricotta filling and no sauce, is ideal for a middle of the week pick-me-up. The ingredient list calls for pancetta, but I had bacon in my fridge, so that's what I used. If you're a vegetarian, leave it out. The best part of this lasagna is the sun-dried tomato paste that's layered between the noodles; it packs a flavorful punch and melts into the scrumptiously cheesy filling. Want to save even more time? Use no-boil lasagna noodles. To take a look at the preparation method, keep reading.
9 lasagna sheets, fresh or dried
1 teaspoon olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon, divided
2 (8.5-ounce) jars sun-dried tomatoes, drained
1 1/2 packed cups fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus 3/4 cup
1/4 pound pancetta, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 bunches asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups shredded whole milk mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons butter
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes for dried pasta or 2 to 3 minutes for fresh pasta. Drain pasta.
- In a food processor combine the sun-dried tomatoes and basil. Pulse until the mixture is combined. Transfer to a small bowl. Stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan. Set aside.
- In a large skillet brown the pancetta until crisp. Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon.
- Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, onion, and garlic and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Add asparagus and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the pancetta, ricotta, salt, and pepper and stir to combine.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a 9 by 13-inch baking dish sprinkle some of the sun-dried tomato mixture on the bottom of the casserole dish. Place some lasagna sheets, then half asparagus mixture. Next sprinkle some mozzarella cheese and some of the remaining 3/4 cup Parmesan. Continue for 1 more layer. Top with lasagna sheets, some sun-dried tomato mixture, mozzarella, and Parmesan. Dot the top with butter. Bake until the ingredients are warm and the cheese is melted, about 25 minutes.
*When I made this recipe, I significantly reduced the ingredient amounts.
- Pasta, Main Dishes
- North American