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.
whole milk ricotta cheese
lemons, zested and juiced
finely chopped mint
plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
asparagus, ends trimmed and stalks sliced in half lengthwise
basil leaves, roughly torn
watercress or baby arugula, roughly chopped
First, boil a large pot of salted water. Cook the lasagna noodles until al dente, about 9 minutes. Drain and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet or clean counter so they don’t stick together.
While the pasta cooks, scoop the ricotta cheese into a large bowl and mix in the zest of 1 lemon, juice of 2 lemons, mint, chives, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 cup olive oil. Set aside.
Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté the asparagus and peas with a pinch of salt until bright green and just tender, about 3 minutes.
Toss the lasagna noodles with the ricotta cheese mixture. Taste and add salt if needed. Arrange the coated noodles on a large platter or in a serving bowl. Top with asparagus, peas, basil, watercress, and pine nuts. To finish, sprinkle over the remaining lemon zest and serve warm or at room temperature.