Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Caprese Lasagna

Mmm, I was so excited to make this.  I haven't  made lasagna in FOREVER!!  This is just one of those comfort foods that you can't live without and have to make just once in a while.  I don't do a whole lot with dairy because of my hubby and kids and we just try not to eat much dairy in general.  But, I had whole milk (which I rarely buy) in the fridge needing to be used, so I made ricotta, and I had a whole 4 oz. package of fresh basil that had to be used as well and 4 little tomatoes sitting on my counter begging to be thrown in the mix. 

I made this super simple because, ya know, you just have those nights where you  need something quick and easy that doesn't taste like cardboard.  You can make both the ricotta and tomato sauce ahead of time, even a day or two before.  In fact, I just used my bottled Tomato-Basil Simmer Sauce, which I made at the end of summer.  Can't get any easier than popping off a lid and pouring it out.  And it's still homemade!

I LOVED the flavors of this lasagna.  It's light and fresh and tastes like it just came out of the garden. No heavy meat sauce needed here, you will be completely satisfied and I guarantee you'll be begging for more.

Easy Caprese Lasagna
8 no-boil lasagna noodles (I used Barilla brand)
1 cup Homemade Ricotta Cheese
10 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 egg
4 tomatoes, sliced (roma or vine-ripened)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
2 cups Tomato-Basil Simmer Sauce
2 oz. mozzarella chees

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta,  2 cups of mozzarella, Parmesan cheese and egg. 

In an 8 1/2 x 11-inch baking pan ( just smaller than a cake pan) spread about 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce on the bottom.  Layer with 2 1/2 sheets of lasagna noodles, half of the ricotta mixture and about 9 slices of tomato.  Top with about another half cup of tomato sauce and a few ribbons of basil. Repeat with another layer.  Top with 2 1/2 sheets of noodles, another 1/2 cup of sauce and about 1/2 cup mozzarella.

Bake, covered with foil, until bubbly; about 50 minutes.  Let stand 15 minutes before cutting. Garnish with ribbons of fresh basil.

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