Have you ever heard of Deconstructed Lasagna? Or Free Form Lasagna? Its okay if you haven’t! Neither had I!
I first discovered deconstructed lasagna at one of our favorite local restaurants here in Columbus – The Market. Full of fresh foods and flavors, The Market offers delicious fresh foods with seasonal menu offerings and GREAT wine. The deconstructed lasagna on their menu, or “Free Form Lasagna” as they call it, changes seasonally. Whether its loaded with meat or completely vegetarian, it is always amazingly yummy. It wasn’t until the seventeenth time that I ordered it that I thought, why haven’t I tried making this?
This Deconstructed Lasagna recipe is based on my traditional Easy Lasagna recipe – so the flavors are VERY similar. But instead of having to layer the lasagna carefully in a big rectangle dish – you can go free form! Breaking up the lasagna noodles and layering with cheese, meat and sauce however you please. Unlike traditional lasagna, this variation is not baked – instead you cook the noodles according to traditional package directions, toss with sauce, layer with delicious goodies – then enjoy!
I promise its JUST as a delicious as traditional lasagna. Only easier to make! My favorite part? The ricotta cheese. It is soo damn good.
This recipe is just perfect for this Fall/Winter! Easy, warm and comforting – its a perfect weeknight meal, or special Sunday dinner! The whole family will love it.
But UGH I know what you’re thinking – Haley, did you have to bring up winter? I’m sorry – I personally am in denial.
We are not QUITE there yet though! We can continue to enjoy Fall! All the sweaters while they still feel fun and cozy. Boots and leggings. Yummy festive foods!
I do hate the shorter days 🙁 and that we have less time outside 🙁 – it is so sad!
BUT let’s stay positive. This time of year is just GREAT!
As is this Deconstructed Lasagna…
See how I did that there?
Like all my recipes, this one is very versatile – choose your favorite type of meat, or go with veggies instead! I recommend making your own sauce below, but you can also use a jar if you’d prefer! I love to make my lasagna with a spicy arrabiatta sauce every now and again for a fun spicy change.
- 1 lb Lasagna noodles
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 lb meat beef, sausage or turkey sausage
- 1 tsp dried oregano separated
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
- 1 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan separated
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh basil
Place lasagna noodles into a large ziploc bag, use a heavy jar or rolling pin to slightly break up noodles into large pieces.
Follow instructions on lasagna noodle box to prepare, cooking pasta until al dente. Before draining, reserve 1 cup of pasta water, set aside.
Meanwhile in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic to pan - cooking for 1-2 minutes. Then add meat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until meat has browned. Drain any additional fat from pan.
Rub half of dry oregano between hands, then add to pan. Cook for an additional minute. Add tomatoes, red pepper flakes and salt. Bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
Add half of meat sauce to pasta, stirring to coat. Add additional sauce or pasta water if needed.In a small bowl, combine ricotta and 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, and remaining oregano. Stir to combine.
Transfer half of pasta to a large serving platter, add large spoonfuls of fresh ricotta, sprinkle parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Continue to layer pasta, cheese, and seasoning until all has been used.
Garnish with fresh basil and serve.
Storage: Refrigerate in an airtight container for 4-5 days.