Individual Pesto Lasagnas

Susan from Food Blogga

Makes 4 servings
Basil Pesto
1 tsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp toasted pine nuts
2 cups firmly packed basil leaves
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp warm water
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and a couple of shakes of crushed red pepper

Quick Fresh Tomato Sauce
2 tsp olive oil
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
3 cups de-seeded diced fresh tomatoes
Salt and several shakes of crushed red pepper flakes

A note about the lasagna ingredients: How much pasta you use will depend on the type of pasta sheets you buy. I used 2 sheets per person, which was about ¾ of pound of pasta in total. So, adjust measurements of the following fillings to match the size of your pasta sheets. Also, if you can’t find sheets, then you can use traditional long lasagna ribbons and roll them up for individual servings.

8 sheets of fresh pasta
1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
About ½ pesto (from above recipe)
1 medium sized eggplant, cut into 8 slices
Some olive oil, for brushing the eggplant
16 sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated (oil-packed are fine too)
1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese for garnish

To make pesto:
Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a small skillet over low heat. Add garlic, and heat through until slightly golden (about 2-3 minutes). Add to food processor.

In same pan, add pinenuts, and toast 1-2 minutes, until golden; add to food processor.

Add basil leaves, cheese, water, salt and pepper to food processor. Pour olive oil though processor chute (or add to with other ingredients if unable), and process until smooth.

If you’re not going to use your pesto immediately, then pour in a small sealable container and cover with a layer of olive oil. This will prevent the pesto from turning brown.

To make tomato sauce:
Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add shallot, and sauté until slightly browned, 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes, and cook for 5-7 minutes minutes, until they start to break down. Season well with salt and crushed red pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.

To assemble lasagna:
Now that you’ve got the pesto and the sauce made, it’s time to make the lasagna. Preheat your broiler for the eggplant and bring a wide, shallow pan of salted water to a boil. Slice eggplant into 1/8 inch rounds and place on a lined baking sheet; brush both sides with some olive, and sprinkle with salt. Broil for 5-6 minutes, turn over once, and broil for another 5-6 minutes, or until slightly charred and softened.

By this point, your water should be boiling. Add 1 pasta sheet at a time to the boiling water. Cook for about 1-1 ½ minutes, flipping once with a pair of tongs. When cooked, remove to a large lined baking sheet to assemble individual lasagnas. Having all of your ingredients lined up will make the assembly much quicker.

Here’s how I do it: Start with one sheet of cooked pasta; spread some ricotta cheese over the surface; spread some pesto on top of the cheese. Add two slices of eggplant, then 4 sun-dried tomatoes, and a few fresh spinach leaves. Top with another cooked pasta sheet. Continue until you complete all four. (If you’re planning ahead, then cover and refrigerate the lasagnas at this point.) Otherwise, place under the broiler for about 3-5 minutes, or until the pasta starts to become slightly bubbly and crispy. Remove from oven and using a large spatula, CAREFULLY place onto plates. Top with some fresh tomato sauce and grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!