It’s finally summer! It took a while for the sunshine and patio season to get here in Vancouver so I don’t know about you but I’m planning to soak up as much of the good weather that I can. This is the time of year I have an internal struggle with myself…I love being in the kitchen, but I love outdoor time just about as much. Simple always wins, so now's when I find ways to use the least amount of heat from the stove.
I love me a good pasta. Lasagna is usually a freezer staple that I keep on hand in colder months. I wanted to create something a little lighter and much less time in the way of prep work.
Deconstructed meals are a great way to have fun and add your own personal twist. They’re also great if you have different tastes at the table, people can choose the ingredients they want and leave out the ones they don’t.
I start with flat lasagna sheets without the traditional curly sides. This italian version is thinner and is easier to work with for plating.
If you’re not a pasta eater, you can easily omit the noodles and just use the zucchini stripes. Also for those non-dairy folks, there's great recipes out there for nut ricotta if you’re motivated enough to make your own. Follow Erin Ireland on Instagram, she's one to give you some ideas.
For the protein I used grass feed, naturally smoked ham that I get from my one of my favourite sustainable farmers. I'm big on supporting local, sustainable farms which I’ll talk more about in an upcoming blog.
All you need to do is boil some water, do a little bit of chopping and stack your plate. Dinner is done in under 20 min and looks like you worked all day.
Bring water to boil in a large pot.
Meanwhile, mix ricotta, juice of the lemon, olive and basil together in a small mixing bowl. If mixture is too thick, add a couple tbsp of water until you get the desired consistency. I should look like thick pancake batter. Set aside
When water is boiling, season with salt and cook lasagna sheets until soft and pliable, about 4-5min. For the last minute of cooking add zucchini and peas. Drain and run under cold water for 30 seconds or until everything cool enough to touch.
To assemble, place 2 tbsp ricotta on 4 plates. Add one sheer of lasagna, folding over three times. Add more ricotta, a few slices of ham and zucchini. Repeat a second time and if you're brave a third. Sprinkle peas around the place along with lemon zest. Garnish with basil leaves, a drizzle of olive oil and fresh pepper.
*If you find the stacking too much, just arrange on the plate however the mood strikes you. Make it your own. *