This is the best summery meal: Baked ziti pasta and roasted broccoli, layered with whipped ricotta, gooey mozzarella cheese, and fresh pesto with basil. Definitely not your traditional lasagna, but still creamy and delicious.
We all know the typical lasagna, sheets of pasta with ricotta cheese, layers of sauce and melty cheese. Lasagna is a great comfort food. But the one thing that’s not so great? The time it takes to prep and cook lasagna. And I think everyone can agree when I say cooking the lasagna noodles is a pain!
Originally, I bought ziti noodles to make the classic baked ziti. But that quickly changed when I realized I had a fresh container of pesto in my fridge! And lazy pesto lasagna was born.
The whole recipe is a quick one. While you roast the broccoli, you cook the pasta and prep all your ingredients. Then put it in the oven for a few minutes to let everything melt together. Yum!
You can make your own pesto for this recipe or if you’re short on time, grab a jar from the store. If you’ve never made your own pesto, you should try it. It’s probably the easiest and fastest sauce to make.
Every year I say I’m going to grow fresh basil and I never do. I know it’s easy, but it always seems to slip past me. I bought the Living Basil for this recipe and it lasted a surprisingly long time! I was constantly looking for ways to use it up because there’s nothing worse than buying fresh basil only to forget about it until it rots. Have you ever seen this Basil Garden Jar? It’s essentially a self-regulating water system – no matter how much you water it, the proper amount of water will be utilized. It’s a really neat idea.
Lazy Pesto Lasagna
|Yield: about 5 - 6 people|
Easy one dish lasagna. Baked ziti with roasted broccoli, fresh basil pesto, whipped ricotta, and gooey mozzarella cheese.
- 1 medium head of broccoli, chopped in bite sized pieces
- 1 small onion, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound ziti pasta
- 1 cup ricotta
- 12 ounces basil pesto
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, torn in small pieces
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss broccoli, onion, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast until starting to char, about 15 - 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the ziti pasta according to box instructions. Drain when done. Coat pasta with 8 ounces of pesto.
- In a small bowl, whip the ricotta until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- In a large casserole dish, place half the ziti in dish. top with broccoli mixture, using half the ricotta scatter dollops over pasta. Sprinkle with half the cheese. Top with remaining ziti, ricotta, cheese, remaining 4 ounces of pesto. Scatter red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
- Cook in 375 degree oven for 30 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and golden. Top with fresh basil.
text and images © North Coast Eats
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