Yes, I know…at first glance it looks like a plain old plate of pasta with tomato sauce. But I promise you, this is so much more than your garden variety pasta with sauce. Imagine if you will a casserole full of steaming hot lasagna…tender pasta, sweet tomato sauce, creamy ricotta, salty fresh grated Parmesan cheese, all flavored with basil and oregano and fresh ground pepper. Now separate it into its different components, take away the 45 minutes or so in the oven, and there you have it…deconstructed lasagna!
Now, while you could get even closer to the original by using lasagna noodles, I used wide tagliatelle pasta for mine, just for extra ease of eating. I made my own ricotta (if you’ve never tried this, please click here…it takes about 15 minutes and three ingredients, and I promise you will never go back to the supermarket kind again!), and while a jarred sauce would be perfectly fine, you could also whip up some easy tomato butter sauce (and click here for that one!). If you like mozzarella in your lasagna, cut some room temperature mozzarella into teeny chunks and scatter it on top with the parmesan. Are you a ground beef and sausage type of lasagna person? Saute some up while you are cooking the pasta and mix it in with the tomato sauce. Veggie lasagna-lover? Swap out the meat for some artichoke hearts and chopped zucchini. This is one of those endlessly versatile recipes that you can customize to your hearts content!
And to make things even better, deconstructed lasagna requires exactly zero time in the oven. When your pasta is done, simply put a nice steaming pile of it on everyone’s plate and then layer on your favorite lasagna ingredients…start with the sauce and then go from there. You could even do this one buffet style and let everyone choose their own.
Plus when you say you are making deconstructed lasagna for dinner…well, let’s just say that it’s a great conversation starter. Now go deconstruct your lasagna, and in the meantime I’m going to see what else I might possibly pull apart in my kitchen…
- 12 ounces wide pasta (tagliatelle, fettuccine, etc)
- 2 cups of your favorite pasta sauce
- 2 cups fresh ricotta cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
- Freshly ground pepper
- Any other lasagna ingredients you like! Diced mozzarella, sauteed ground beef and sausage…get creative!
- Prepare pasta according to package directions and drain.
- While pasta is cooking, heat tomato sauce and assemble other topping ingredients. If you are adding meat or veggies, stir them into the tomato sauce.
- Divide hot pasta among four plates. Top first with sauce, then with ricotta, parmesan, herbs and ground pepper. Serve at once.