Free-Form Vegetarian Lasagna

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I love it when food has attitude.

Like this. This lasagna is practically standing in a big open field with braids and flowers in its hair and a huge sign, “Whatever, I’m free-form. Wanna make something of it? And by the way, I just burned my bra.”

 

It’s lasagna without much willy nilly. There’s no turning on the oven. There’s only turning on the Led Zeppelin.

 

There’s no baking for a hundred million 81 years. There’s only a little simmering and sauteing and layering.

And obviously air drumming.

 

There’s no waiting around for 13 Tom and Jerry episodes so the lasagna will congeal properly so that when you cut it into it it’s a perfect little square. Oh no. There’s only flip flop dillipy dop, you don’t stop. Laya’ playa’ we gots the veggie va vaya’, come on now, slaya’ bo baya’.

Those are the lyrics to my new hit song. There is interpretive dance and everything! I just have to figure out what it means. And how to not get kicked out of humanity.

 

Just. Get. Out. Of. Town. Already.

Yeah, and those walnuts on top are going to blow this right out of the WATER. But not the oven because remember we didn’t even bake it, oooo snap!

Let’s start a new free-form everything revolution. Oh and we can invite Robert Plant!

Free-Form Vegetarian Lasagna:

What it took for 2:

* 6 no-boil flat lasagna sheets
* 2 cups cherry (or grape) tomatoes, yellow and red or whatever you have
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil, divided
* 2 cups ricotta cheese
* 1 Tbs. freshly chopped mixed herbs (I used thyme and oregano)
* 1 zucchini, cut into thin circles
* 1 squash, cut into thin circles
* 1 bunch swiss chard, chopped
* coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
* 1/4 cup toasted walnuts, for garnish
* fresh parmesan shavings and basil, for garnish

Place the lasagna sheets in a shallow dish filled with water. Soak for 30 minutes. (while you cook the meal)

Pulse the tomatoes in a food processor until smooth.

Heat 1 Tbs. oil in a small saucepan over medium. Add the garlic and bloom for 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Pour the tomatoes into the saucepan, cover and simmer on low while you prepare the rest of the meal. Throw in a pinch of salt and pepper.

Heat the remaining 2 Tbs. oil in a large skillet. Add the zucchini and squash and saute until browned and soft, 4 minutes. Add the swiss chard and continue to saute until it wilts, another 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, mix the ricotta cheese with the herbs, a pinch of salt and pepper.

Pat each lasagna sheet dry and place one on each serving plate. Arrange some vegetables over each sheet, followed by a dollop of the herbed ricotta. Layer with another sheet. More veggies. Then more ricotta. Then another sheet. Then more veggies, one more dollop of ricotta. Finally, spoon the tomato sauce over each pile. Go as crazy as you want here.

Garnish with toasted walnuts, parmesan shavings and a few fresh basil leaves. And probably another pinch of salt and pepper, ya know, for good measure.

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42 Responses to Free-Form Vegetarian Lasagna

  1. Brittany May 29, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

    I love this idea. So simple.

  2. Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche May 29, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    Only you could get from lasagne to bra burning in one sentence. I think you might be a little bit mad… but I absolutely love it :) And this looks fab.

  3. Rachel Cooks May 29, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

    Yesssssss. Perfect summer meal.

  4. Katie May 29, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

    Oh heck this is the lasagna for me. I hate the willy nilly layering and baking for 81 million years.

  5. Denise @ Creative Kitchen May 29, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

    Brilliant…..SIMPLY brilliant! Love this idea, and can’t wait to do something about it. ;)

  6. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking May 29, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    I love this hippy lasagna! It could burn its bra over my stovetop anytime!

  7. Laurie {Simply Scratch} May 29, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

    Oh I love this! Looks so damn good Bev!

  8. Kathryn May 29, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

    This sounds like such a good way to summerify lasagna.

  9. The Purple Carrot May 29, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

    This looks fab.u.lous!! It’s been far too long since lasagna has crossed my lips, and I am missing out.

  10. Gen May 29, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

    Awesome idea! Can’t wait to try it out!

  11. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel May 29, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

    This is bad to admit but I saw a similar idea on the chew a while back and thought how brilliant, then they’re completely personalized!

  12. Ali @ Gimme Some Oven May 29, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

    I LOVE this idea! My kind of lasagna. :)

  13. Heather (Heather's Dish) May 29, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

    i’ll take bra-burning lasagna any day – boycott the oven!

  14. Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray May 29, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

    This is fantastic, because there is no way in HECK I am turning on my oven this week. Sheesh.

  15. Cassie May 29, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

    Look. At. This. LOVE veggie lasagna!

  16. Averie @ Averie Cooks May 29, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    Free form and not having it be totally perfect…that is my speed! Love this one, Bev :)

  17. Deanna B. May 29, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

    As much as I love an oven baked lasagna, I love not turning on my oven in summer more. Looks fab.

  18. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar May 29, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

    This is some maaaaad delicious looking pasta! Yum!

  19. Ashley @ Hudson on the Potomac May 29, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

    What a great idea!!! Thanks Bev!

  20. DessertForTwo May 29, 2012 at 6:23 pm #

    Lasagna burning its bra?! Sign me up!

  21. Megan @ Country Cleaver May 29, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

    Between the air drumming, Led Zeppelin, hippie, interpretive dancing lasagna – how can you not find this to be a freeing food experience?

  22. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious May 29, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

    I love how much veggies are in this dish! Great dish, Bev.

  23. Maria May 29, 2012 at 11:18 pm #

    I NEED this for dinner! NEED!

  24. Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen May 30, 2012 at 1:39 am #

    Delicious of course and I’d listen to you sing on the radio any day of the week!

  25. Julie @ Table for Two May 30, 2012 at 1:52 am #

    what a great idea on lasagna..i love how free it is…you don’t have to worry about if it looks good or whatever. plus, yours looks awesome for not being structured. beats regular lasagne!!

  26. Adam @ Maki Zavelli May 30, 2012 at 3:18 am #

    Haha you are one silly lady! and this looks all kinds of mmm mmm good.

  27. Marina {YummyMummyKitchen.com} May 30, 2012 at 3:35 am #

    Bev, I am obsessed with this recipe. Anything vegetarian and Italian is good in my book, but this is amazing.

  28. brandi May 30, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

    i love walnuts with pasta – how did you know?!?

    this looks awesome. i love lasagna but hate making it since i don’t always have 6 hours to spend making pasta.

  29. Kerry May 31, 2012 at 1:35 am #

    What type of noodles did you use? I tried this, but the noodles did not get soft at all I used no boiling oven ready lasagna noodles.

    • Bev Weidner May 31, 2012 at 1:37 am #

      Oh no! I used Barilla no-boil noodles. I soaked them for about 30 minutes. Yours didn’t get soft? I’m so sorry! Maybe a little longer soaking in the water?

      • Kerry May 31, 2012 at 2:20 am #

        I just went back to the store and bought barilla! It worked much better than the store brand!

        • Bev Weidner May 31, 2012 at 11:44 am #

          Good, good! So glad that worked for you!

  30. Cookie and Kate June 6, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

    Bev, this is genius. So genius.

  31. Jeanine June 6, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

    Oh yum… I love the free-flowing pasta sheets. So perfect for the summer when I don’t want to turn the oven on!

  32. Frances June 6, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

    MUST TRY!!! <3

  33. Angel August 7, 2013 at 12:11 pm #

    This looks fantastic! I was wondering though, the directions say to make the tomatoes smooth but they look a little chunky in the picture. Am I going for completely puréed or just until it’s mostly smooth?

    • Bev Weidner August 7, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

      Hey, Angel! Ohhhh ya know, I pureed mine as much as I could, but there was still a little bit of texture in it. So you’re welcome to go as smooth or chunky as you prefer!

  34. Koost August 7, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

    Hey! Just made this dish. With some changes but it looked kinda the same :-) It was really good! Thank for sharing! K.

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