Tomato Gratin Lasagna

by Hilary Gauntt on September 1, 2017

Another recipe that requires ripe summer tomatoes! I don’t think of lasagna as either light or summery, but this lovely dish is both. Layers of beefsteak heirlooms alternate with no-boil lasagna noodles and ricotta cheese mixed with garlic and basil. In about half an hour, you have a wonderful side dish or a vegetarian main course. Better try this before the ripe tomatoes disappear! From Cooking Light magazine.

1 15 ounce container part-skim ricotta cheese

2 large eggs

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, divided

4 tsp. grated garlic, divided

1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, divided

3/4 tsp. black pepper, divided

4 lb. firm globe and beefsteak heirloom tomatoes (about 5 large), cored and cut into 1/2″ thick slices

6 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 Tbs. white or red wine vinegar

Cooking spray

9 no-boil lasagna noodles (such as Barilla), divided

2 oz. whole grain bread, torn into pieces

2 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (1/2 cup)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Stir together ricotta, eggs, 1/4 cup basil, 2 tsp. garlic, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper.

Remove and discard seeds from one-third of the tomato slices. (if tomatoes are particularly seedy or juicy, remove seeds from one half of the tomatoes. Combine all tomato slices, 1/4 cup oil, vinegar, remaining two tsp. garlic, remaining 1 tsp. salt, and remaining 1/2 tsp. pepper in a large bowl; toss gently to combine.

Coat a 13 X 9 inch glass or ceramic baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange 1/3 of the tomato slices in a single layer on the bottom of the baking dish; top with 3 lasagna noodles. Spread the ricotta mixture evenly over the noodles; top with 3 lasagna noodles. Arrange 1/3 of the tomato slices in a single layer over the noodles, and top with 3 remaining noodles. Arrange remaining noodles over top, shingling if necessary. Pour any tomato juices from bowl evenly over lasagna. Cover baking dish with foil, and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, place bread in a food processor; pulse until coarse crumbs form, 4 to 5 times. Heat remaining 2 Tbs. oil in a large skillet over medium. Add breadcrumbs; cook, stirring often, until toasted, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl; cool 5 minutes. Add cheese and remaining 1/4 cup basil; toss.

Remove lasagna from oven, remove foil. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over lasagna. Return dish to the oven; bake at 375 until top is browned, about 10 minutes. Serves 8.

Note: I baked this at home in the afternoon to take to dinner with our friends. The tomatoes on the top didn’t completely cover the top layer of noodles, and they looked like they needed a bit more time. At dinner I popped it (room temperature) into a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes, and that did the trick. So you may need to cook this a bit longer. Also, I really like the idea of making the crumb topping from whole wheat bread, but may use white bread crumbs next time. The dark crumbs not as appetizing somehow.

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