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.
Consider this recipe a lighter, more casual way to enjoy lasagna, that crowd favorite, for a summery weeknight dinner.
1 pound lasagna noodles
15 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
2 lemons, zested and juiced
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
How to Make It
Meanwhile, mix together ricotta, lemon, mint and chives. Toss with cooked noodles.
Lightly sauté asparagus and peas. Mix with noodles.
Add in remaining ingredients.
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