The best of both worlds
That is what you can expect from this tasty Red Lasagna dish. Very light on the cheese front, yet still hitting the lasagna mark.
Making lasagna doesn’t have to be an all-day plan. This renewed recipe is a true weeknight lasagna. No pre-cooking noodles, no pre-cooking sauces. You literally, stir the first five ingredients together into a vibrant tomato sauce, and you can start layering!
Paired with a good salad, this 10-min Red Lasagna is very rewarding with minimal effort.
A couple of tips. If you come across fresh pasta sheets, stock up. You can freeze them, this way you always have them on hand. If fresh pasta is hard to find, stock up on no-boil (whole wheat) lasagna sheets. When you look at them at first it might seem impossible that it will work for lasagna because they’re like dense, stale crackers, and no-boil?!
Don’t take our word for it, find it out for yourself. You will be pleasantly surprised!
It’s the rare lasagna that is healthful enough to make once a week, and still feel like it is working in your favor. Also, it isn’t a big cheese bomb. We’re all about trying to keep things light here.
For a delicious variation, you can spice your red tomato sauce with curry powder and a big squeeze of fresh orange juice. (note in the recipe below) We also added a variation that omits dairy altogether. If you use egg-free pasta, it’s a good vegan version.
We’ve used all kinds of noodles to change it up with this recipe: fresh egg pasta, fresh spinach pasta, fresh whole wheat pasta, and dried, no-boil whole wheat pasta. All work great!
If you’re aiming for a vegan version you can skip the mozzarella. Instead, thin out some tahini with warm water, season with salt, and garlic paste, use that as a creamy final drizzle.
28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fine grain salt
2 cloves garlic - chopped
1 cloves red pepper flakes
12 ounces fresh pasta sheets - cut into lasagna strips
1 cup cooked red lentils or cannellini beans
4 cup chopped olives (optional)
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, torn
Preheat the oven to 400ºF with a rack in top third.
Combine the tomatoes, olive oil, salt, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a bowl and give a good stir.
Spoon 3/4 cup of the sauce into the bottom of a 8 x 12-inch (or larger) oven-proof baking dish.
Sprinkle generously with lemon zest, and cover with a layer of pasta, giving the pasta strips a quick dunk in cold water before using - (please see note below if using no-boil noodles*)
Spoon another thin layer of tomato sauce, sprinkle with a few tablespoons of the lentils, the olives (if using), and cover with another layer of pasta.
Repeat with more layers ending with a generous amount of tomato sauce on top.
Finish with the mozzarella cheese on top (or see headnotes for vegan version). Bake for thirty minutes, or until the cheese gets nicely golden.
*If using no-boil noodles, there’s no need to dunk in water before assembling. Also, don’t forget to cover the lasagna with foil and bake until pasta is tender (30-35 minutes)
** Variation: Stir 1 1/2 teaspoons of your favorite curry powder and juice of 1/2 an orange into the tomato sauce.