Just one of those days when I swear that if anyone had to identify me by my finger prints, then I would rather quickly be reported as “Rose Doe”. I once again tried to sear the print ridges off my fingers on an oven hot pan handle so that I now have at least non finger prints on both hands…a quick grab of a hand full of ice cubes and then wrapped tightly with a small towel and no blistering, but clearly a smooth surface on the seared fingers. Then with the little chill, gloomy, dark day I turned on the neat little electric fireplace in my little office and nicely warmed the room to comfortable, shut it off, turned off the fan and proceed to make dinner of the day. I was making béchamel and smelled the wintry aroma of burning wood and seconds later saw my singed bamboo cutting board that was too close to the gas burner, it was more like the incense burning, no flame so there instant ambiance aromatherapy on another wintry day.
I had a bowl full of roasted tomatoes, just enough for a small lasagna for two so out to invent a roasted tomato lasagna. I pulled a few things from the fridge oh my, Irish butter, mascarpone and Parmesan cheeses, and milk of course to start. The results, a wonderfully smooth béchamel for the lasagna with layers of roasted tomatoes, dollops of pesto and seasoned ricotta, generously dusted with grated Parmesan and pecorino Romano and over the final layer of béchamel and grated cheese, toasted seasoned Italian bread crumbs…
The amounts are approximate as this was a last-minute idea with 9 lasagna sheets to use and a small 8 x 6 baking dish. I knew it would be a rather quick dish to prepare.
About 2 cups of roasted tomatoes, placed in a strainer over a bowl to collect the juice, allow to sit for 30 minutes so that most of the juice is drained from the tomatoes
2 cups of béchamel with additions of 3 tablespoons mascarpone, 1/3 cup each pecorino Romano and Parmesan cheese (or just make a good classic béchamel)
½-3/4 cup ricotta
½ cup fresh pesto (prepared last month and then frozen)
Drizzles of the tomato juice from the roasted tomatoes
Generous amounts of freshly grated cheese for the lasagna layers
Toasted Italian breadcrumbs…just a guess about ¼ cup
In a buttered baking dish add some of the tomatoes and drizzle some of the juice over and prepared lasagna noodles of choice and begin layering the béchamel, dusting of grated cheese, small teaspoons of pesto. Add another lasagna sheet and spread some of the tomatoes over add dollops of ricotta, pesto and grated cheese. Continue layering with the final layer of béchamel, grated cheese and a dusting of toasted crumbs…bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until hot and bubbly, allow to rest 10 or so minutes before serving. Serve with Jeffrey Zakarian Caesar Salad…