13 July 2012

Summer Lemon Zest Lasagna - Is that an oxymoron??

Dear Friends,

I am hot, tired, and non-stop busy.  My gardens need constant loving care, the syrup business is growing, and I am putting in a new kitchen. Does anyone know how to put the brake on summer. I could certainly use a few more months, say about eight.

But even though I am spinning wildly with work, I always find time to eat well. As I harvested my tiny squash ( I always pick them little and tender), I thought about what to make. I recalled a recipe I saw in my favorite new cookbook Vegeterranean  titled, Cannelloni de Ricotta con Sugo di Pomodoro. Quite a mouthful to say but is a deliciously light and easy to make meal .  What I liked most though was the ingredient LEMON ZEST!!!!!! What says summer more than that.

However because of my hectic schedule I needed to rush even this quick recipe along so I bought some fresh  homemade pasta sheets and decided to make a summer lasagna instead of the individual cannelloni. My creation worked.  I hope my successful shortcuts convince you to try this delectable dish.

Summer Lasagna

Three sheets of fresh homemade lasagna pasta
1 9x13 inch baking dish
Oven 350 degrees


8oz of ricotta                   1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 egg                               1/8 cup Romano cheese or Pecorino
a pinch of nutmeg            Lots and lots of Lemon Zest - I used two lemons
Salt and pepper

Mix this all together gently

Tomato Sauce

A handful of parsley well chopped
a handful of basil well chopped
2 cloves garlic  - peeled and kept whole
1 small onion - well chopped
1 carrot -  shave with a peeler to get very thin slices
2 small zucchini squash  - shave as you did the carrot
Salt and pepper

Saute in a large pan on low to med heat until herbs and vegetables are soft and garlic browns slightly.
Add either six large fresh tomatoes peeled or 1 28 oz can peeled plum tomatoes

Cook sauce for another 10 to 15 minutes.


You will need 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and 4 oz of fresh mozzarella cut into cubes

Put some sauce in bottom of baking dish
Add a sheet of pasta
Add half of ricotta mixture and spread about with back of spoon
add 1/8 cup Parmesan cheese and half of  the mozzarella
Top with sauce and spread about covering all edges of pasta
Add another layer of pasta and repeat.

Leave enough sauce for top layer and sprinkle some Parmesan and a few cubes of mozzarella on top

Bake for twenty to thirty minutes and walla it is done.  The grated lemon zest gives this its Summer flair.



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