Last week, I bought a butt load of basil for the bruschetta I made. The bruschetta recipe doesn’t call for a butt load of basil – just 8-9 leaves – but unfortunately basil isn’t usually sold by the leaves.
So I was stuck with a ton of leftover basil that was slowly starting to wither away.
And I started to panic thinking about this basil ($$$) going to waste.
So what did I do? I made basil paste with it!
This basil paste is simply basil and extra virgin olive oil, blended together into a thing of beauty.
Margherita pizza is my favorite pizza in the world. It’s so simple, yet still delicious at the same time. And that’s what I wanted to translate to this lasagna.
So, what goes into Margherita pizza? Well, “bread,” tomato sauce/tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil!
But I will say here that this lasagna did need a bit of “bulk,” so next time I will probably add some hot sausage to the tomato sauce. And maybe even some layers of veggies.
My “tomato sauce” of choice?
Start with a thin layer of the sauce in the bottom of the baking dish, just to flavor the bottom of the lasagna and keep it from sticking to the pan.
Then begin the layering process with the noodles…this is the kind I used:
Then slather on the sauce…
Sprinkle on the cheese…
And another layer of noodle…I used a smaller baking dish so I had to break up some of the noodles, but I couldn’t even tell in the end product!
But instead of tomato sauce this time, layer on the basil paste…
And then cheese again.
Repeat layering (pasta, tomato sauce, cheese, pasta, basil paste, cheese) until you reach the top or…run out of cheese (which is what happened to me, so I had to cut the lasagna short, literally).
After baking, behold this beauty!
By the way, this “cookie” spatula works awesome for lasagna too!
But there are some things I will change for the future, including:
1. “bulking” the sauce up with ground (hot) sausage. I loooove hot links, so I’ll probably use that.
2. adding a layer of thinly sliced long vegetables like zucchini, eggplant, or maybe even whole sliced tomatoes.
3. Using fresh, sliced mozzarella instead of shredded mozzarella.
1 package lasagna noodles (I used the “no-boil” kind)
2 cups favorite tomato sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (or sliced mozzarella cheese)
2 cups fresh basil
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 375F.
Start by making the basil paste by blending together the basil and extra virgin olive oil.
In a baking dish, layer lasagna noodles, tomato sauce, mozzarella, lasagna noodles, basil paste, then mozzarella. Repeat until you reach the top of the baking dish, ending with mozzarella.
Cover the top of the baking dish with foil and bake about 20-30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for a few more minutes until the top is melted and bubbly.
We kinda liked this.