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Consider this recipe a lighter, more casual way to enjoy lasagna, that crowd favorite, for a summery weeknight dinner.
Rather than layering noodles with loads of ground meat, cheese, and tomato sauce (which is delicious during a snowstorm but not my favorite when it's 80° and sunny), you boil the long, wide noodles (alternatively, break them up before you boil) and toss them with a hefty dose of lemony ricotta cheese flecked with fresh mint and a load of minced chives. No need to turn on the oven.
Then comes the fun part: loading on the greens. I like to add both quickly sautéed early summer beauties (in this case asparagus and peas) as well as punchy raw greens (watercress is a personal favorite, but baby arugula is also delicious).
This is just the kind of meal that tastes best eaten on the front porch or on a picnic blanket in the backyard. And the best part, it only takes twenty minutes from start to finish.
- 1 pound lasagna noodles
- 15 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
- 2 lemons, zested and juiced
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped mint
- 3 tablespoons minced chives
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed and stalks sliced in half lengthwise
- 1 cup peas
- 1 handful basil leaves, roughly torn
- 1 bunch watercress or baby arugula, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted in a dry pan
What's your favorite summer varation: eggplant, corn, tomatoes, lots of greens? Tell us in the comments below.