Weeknight Cooking

Weeknight Broken Lasagna with Lots of Greens

June 10, 2017
4 Ratings
Photo by Elizabeth Cecil
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

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.
Sarah Waldman

What You'll Need
  • 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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • JG
  • Alexandra V. Jones
    Alexandra V. Jones
  • stephanieRD
  • Amy Doyle
    Amy Doyle
  • Jess
Sarah Waldman is a food writer and recipe developer living on Martha’s Vineyard. She is the author of, Feeding a Family: A Real-Life Plan for Making Dinner Work.

19 Reviews

DebGrant November 4, 2021
Delicious! I followed the recipe and despite many comments saying that two lemons would be too much, two was exactly what was needed. Without the juice of the two lemons the lemony taste would have been lost with the addition of the greens, peas, asparagus, and the mushrooms I added. Lemon and asparagus are one of cooking's happiest couples. I did char the asparagus a bit and it was lovely and then added a sprinkling of pecorino.
JG July 10, 2017
Loved this! I subbed basil for the mint, farfalle for the lasagna noodles and added mushrooms, topped with parm & arugula. I kept about a 1/4 of the ricotta out of the lemon mixture to spoon on top as well. As for the lemon, I used the juice of two but no zest. In making again I would have held back just a tad (1.5 would have been great) but the rest of my house thought the 2 was perfect, so just go with your lemon loving gut. overall, will definitely make again.
Sarah W. July 12, 2017
I love the idea of farfalle and mushrooms - yummmmm!
Brian I. July 9, 2017
***One other note: It occurred to me as I was breaking the Lasagna noodles into the pot that Mafaldine pasta noodles would work perfectly in this recipe - and my wife commented that cutting the asparagus into thirds (as well as in half) would allow you to get some of that deliciousness into every forkfull.
Brian I. July 9, 2017
Sarah, I made this last night, incorporating Karma's notes below. I have to second that fantastic! Charring the asparagus and yellow squash was very complimentary with the toasted pine nuts, and I tossed on some Locatelli Romano too. My picky kid ate it and says she'd eat it again; my wife Instagrammed it after her first bite and has already invited people over for the next time we make it! Thanks so much for your post!
Sarah W. July 10, 2017
Hi Brian,
Thank you for this! I love imagining these recipes in REAL homes (with picky eaters and all!). So fun to imagine you making it again for friends. Happy summer!
Karma I. June 29, 2017
This recipe was fantastic!! I was so pleased with the way it turned out! I agree with other comments, the juice of two lemons would have been too much. One big lemon (zest and juice) was perfect. I actually charred the asparagus and peas just a bit and it added a nice caramelized flavor. May throw in grilled yellow squash next time. Super light, fresh, and fast to make. Adding it to the summer rotation!!
Sarah W. June 30, 2017
Karma, yay! I'm so thrilled it was a hit. I love the idea of slightly charred veggies. Happy summer!
Alexandra V. June 22, 2017
Made this last night, I liked it but I tasted as I went and I found 1 lemon was plenty (average sized lemon), two would've been borderline acrid. This made at least 10 servings (we are big eaters and I still have half in the fridge) I would definitely cut the noodles by half, ricotta by a third, and keep the veg the same. Great fridge cleaner recipe idea easy to change out ingredients per preference. I found the proportions to be a bit off, and ended up hitting mine at the end with pecorino for some umami depth and salt. It is a beautiful recipe! I posted a pic of mine in my Instagram, link is in my bio if y'all are interested.
Sarah W. June 22, 2017
Thanks for sharing your process Alexandra - sounds delicious! I love the pecorino at the end.
Alexandra V. June 22, 2017
Great play on lasagna! Thanks for sharing.
stephanieRD June 18, 2017
Made this for our dinner tonight, and it was great! I'm faced with the challenge of no a/c in the heat of the summer here in CO. This is just the type of pasta dish I was looking for! The only change I made was that I used whole wheat penne as that's what I have in my pantry, and it was delightful. Paired it with the spicy grilled shrimp- great combo because the pasta helps cool your mouth down! https://food52.com/recipes/246-spicy-shrimp
Sarah W. June 19, 2017
Hey Stephanie,
I'm so glad it was a hit!! Wow, spicy grilled shrimp sounds like the perfect addition. Happy Cooking!
Amy D. June 15, 2017
Seems like this would work with farfalle, or other flat-ish pasta?
Sarah W. June 17, 2017
Definitely - any large flat pasta shape would be great.
Jess June 15, 2017
I remember seeing this on my news feed the other day and this morning rushed to find it in time for my trip to the grocery store! Looking forward to making it tonight!
Sarah W. June 17, 2017
yay!!! how'd it come out!?
Laura M. June 14, 2017
I'm allergic to peas (and beans), but I'd love to make this. Do you have a suggestion for a substitute?
Sarah W. June 15, 2017
Hey Laura - I think any quick cooking spring / summer veggie would work like finely diced zucchini, minced mushrooms, or even halved cherry tomatoes. Good luck!