Cheesy Skillet Lasagna with Ramp Pesto

In a continuation of my virtual Chopped challenges with friends, this was my pasta dish submission. As I mentioned in my last post we picked up ramps at a drive-thru farmer's market but you can use jarred pesto or leftover pesto if you've been keeping any in your freezer. This dish would be fine without the pesto but it certainly adds some pizzazz. I wanted this to be easy to make and to use up some of the fresh greens and other items we picked up at the drive-thru farmers market. I always end up with half-used boxes of lasagna noodles and other pasta so this was also a great way to use lasagna noodles that weren't enough for a regular-sized lasagna recipe. Although we are still not going to the grocery store we did pick-up some ingredients through the drive-thru farmers market but I already had noodles, garlic, lentils, diced tomatoes, mozzarella, and ricotta on hand.

Vegetarian and Cooking original. 


-5 1/2 ounces lasagna noodles, broken into 3-inch pieces
-1 clove garlic, minced
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-Dash of Italian herb seasoning blend
-1 bunch kale, chopped
-1/2 cup cooked lentils
-2 cans diced tomatoes
-2 ounces goat cheese
-1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
-1/2 cup part-skim ricotta
-2 tablespoons pesto (ramp pesto recipe below)

Ramp Pesto (from Honest Food)
-1.5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
-1/8 cup toasted pine nuts
-1 tablespoon grated cheese, such as Parmesan
-1 cup ramps
-Salt to taste
-About 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
-Splash lemon juice

**Quarantine Cooking Comments**
  1. Jarred or frozen pesto is fine or make your own! If you have an excess of green onions you could also make a green onion pesto instead of ramp or traditional basil. 
  2. We had canned lentils on hand but you can use dried, just cook them first.
  3. Any hearty greens will work if you have something other than kale.
If making ramp pesto, puree ingredients until smooth.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and add garlic to saute for one minute. I omitted onion from this dish because I was intending to get some of those flavors from the assertive ramp pesto -- feel free to cook with diced onion if using traditional pesto. Add diced tomatoes and Italian seasoning with a dash of salt, then cover and simmer for ten minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add the lasagna pieces and boil for about six or seven minutes, enough to soften the lasagna noodles so that they can finish cooking in the sauce. Time may vary if you are using oven-ready noodles, it's best to test them every few minutes. Set aside.

Add the kale to the tomatoes in the skillet, and stir to combine. Re-cover and cook for five minutes until the kale has wilted. Stir in the lentils, then begin to layer the lasagna noodles by placing them in the skillet and gently pushing them down into the sauce with a spoon. Continue until the noodles are mostly in the sauce and covered.

Top the skillet lasagna with mozzarella cheese, dollops of ricotta, and pieces of goat cheese. Cover and leave over low heat for five minutes so that the cheese can melt or soften. Serve six servings with focaccia or Italian bread and a few spoonfuls of ramp pesto divided among the servings.



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