Early May is a busy time for celebration in my family. It’s my Mother’s birthday, my eldest baby’s birthday (now 25!!) and, of course, Mother’s Day. These events come in rapid succession and sometimes overlap.
We are a family of eaters and celebration, and getting together is always delicious. Whomever is at the helm of the stove for the day gets full reign over what is to be served- though additions of sweets and treats are always welcome. There is no competition, just a welcoming platform of besting ourselves for everyone else’s enjoyment. You never know what’s going to appear on the tables and counter- but it’s all so wonderful.
My take was to do something classic, but slightly different, and also a little lighter. I love lasagna with it’s gooey drippiness, but this version is so lovely and simple, that you can taste the nuances before they get drowned in melty cheese. The best part is they don’t weigh you down, so there is plenty of room for dessert!
Individual Lasagne with Fresh roasted tomato
2 14oz boxes of crushed tomatoes
1 container of tomatoes on the vine
2 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced
2T olive oil
S & P and a pinch of sugar
20 oz container of Fresh Ricotta, or freshly made
1.5 oz freshly grated parmesan
2 healthy pinches of fresh oregano leaves, whole and slightly bruised
12 oz fresh pasta sheets or freshly made
Olive Oil for pan
Preheat oven to 375˚
In a saucepan combine the crushed tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and seasoning. Cook over a low heat to reduce slightly and meld the flavors. Set aside.
In a bowl combine the ricotta, parmesan, oregano and S&P and stir to combine.
Cut the sheets of noodle into 16- 4″ squares, as evenly as possible.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the squares a few at at time to al dente. Drain and rinse in a bowl of cool water, then set aside until all are done.
In a shallow roasting pan add a T or two of olive oil onto bottom of pan and a spoonful or two of sauce. Lay a set of squares on the bottom. Spoon some of the ricotta mixture onto each and continue to layer for 4 layers.
Top the individual lasagnas with the sauce and place washed tomatoes on the vine on top.
Set into the oven and bake for 35-40 mins. The tomatoes will deflate and the edges of the pasta will brown just a touch.