A fresh summery version of that all-time favorite …lasagna. A great way to use up those heirloom tomatoes. This calls for ricotta cheese but not a bit of mozzarella. It really does taste lighter and more like summer.
Use the recommended no-boil lasagna noodles and you won’t even heat up your kitchen with all that boiling water. You will need to use your oven, but this is so good it’ll be worth the heat. Really.
Mix up the ricotta spread and set it aside so the flavor can develop. When you slice your tomatoes (on the thick side) you’ll be removing about half of the seeds so that the final dish isn’t watery.
Once you’ve prepped and seasoned the tomato slices, you’ll begin layering. Be sure to have the oven preheating, because this part is easy and fast.
The lasagna is covered and baked for a period of time before adding the gratin topping. That can be prepared during the initial bake. The crunchy goodness is sprinkled on top for the final ten minutes in the oven.
Let your creation sit for ten minutes before serving. Enjoy with your favorite grilled meat or fish. Or with just a green salad. Of course, some crusty bread to soak up the amazing juices wouldn’t be a bad idea, either.
tomato gratin lasagna
Light, summery and delicious.
- 15 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, divided into two-1/4 cup portions
- 4 teaspoons grated garlic, divided into two-2 teaspoon portions
- 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided into 1/4 teaspoon & 1 teaspoon
- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided into 1/4 teaspoon & 1/2 teaspoon
- 4 pounds firm globe and/or beefsteak tomatoes, cored & cut into 1/2" thick slices (about 5 large)
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided into 1/4 cup & 2 tablespoons
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
- cooking spray
- 9 no-boil lasagna noodles (such as Barilla brand)
- 2 ounces whole grain bread, torn into pieces
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (2 ounces)
Preheat oven to 375°F. Stir together ricotta, eggs, 1/4 cup basil, 2 teaspoons garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.
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 2 teaspoons garlic, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl; toss gently to combine.
Coat a 13- x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange one-third of the tomato slices in a single layer on the bottom of baking dish; top with 3 lasagna noodles. Spread ricotta mixture evenly over noodles; top with 3 lasagna noodles. Arrange one-third of the tomato slices in a single layer over noodles and top with the remaining 3 noodles. Arrange remaining tomatoes over top, shingling if necessary. Pour any tomato juices from bowl evenly over lasagna. Cover baking dish with foil, and bake at 375°F for 35 minutes.
Meanwhile, place bread in a food processor; pulse until coarse crumbs form, 4 to 5 times. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. 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 oven, uncovered, and bake at 375°F until top is browned, about 10 minutes. Let rest for about 10 minutes before serving.