Lasagnette con pomodori, mozzarella e pesto.

A de-composed Lasagna

INGREDIENTS:
PESTO
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 tablespoon water or club soda

TOMATO SAUCE:
4 vine ripened tomatoes or 2/3 of a 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 teaspoon of tomato paste
8 fresh basil leaves

ASSEMBLY:
1 package of lasagna pasta, fresh or dried
8 ounces of fresh water-packed mozzarella or burrata cheese
1 tablespoon of butter, melted.

YIELD: Serves 4 as a substantial appetizer

COURSE: Appetizers Tapas Meze

CUISINE: Italian

DIRECTIONS:

  1. PESTO:
    In a blender, puree basil leaves, oil, cheese, pine nuts, garlic, water and a generous pinch of salt and pepper until smooth. Store in fridge until needed.
  2. TOMATO SAUCE:
    Heat oil, butter, onion, garlic, salt and pepper in a medium saucepan over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, chopped, or canned tomatoes, basil leaves and up to 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until the sauce is thickened, about 20 minutes.
  3. PASTA:
    Cook according to package directions and then cut into 4 inch squares.
  4. ASSEMBLY:
  5. Brush a baking sheet with oil. Put 4 pasta squares onto baking sheet. Dollop some tomato sauce on each square, dot with cheese chunks. Dollop 1 teaspoon of pesto on top of each square, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Top with second pasta square. Drizzle lasagnette with melted butter and bake until edges are lightly golden, about 7 minutes. Transfer to serving plates. Top with remaining tomato sauce, mozzarella, and a drizzle of pesto; garnish with basil leaves. Serve immediately.