When I get dreaming about summer foods, I think of fast and simple meals which can be eaten hot or cold. Cooking using a hot oven or hanging out by the stove during a hot Australian summer aint pretty… trust me.
Recently, one of Jackson’s friends gave me a squash from his garden – not just any squash mind you, it was freakin’ huge. We’re talking the size of a small pumpkin. I couldn’t believe my eyes and I couldn’t wait to create something with it. I toddled on home with my new (huge) squash in my handbag and excitement in my belly.
I sometimes wish I was born 60 years earlier, in the time that you knew all your neighbours, and had a sort of community garden with everyone on the street. Someone would have a lemon tree, another would grow tomatoes. Joe down the road had the best strawberries and grew leeks in the winter. You could trade for whatever you needed without going to a supermarket. These were simpler times, and I enjoy the idea of the kindness plus bonding over fresh, shared food that you’ve grown yourself.
Anyway, back to reality (oop – there goes gravity) and back to this delicious summer lasagna, which my other friend inspired me to make. I was lucky to be given the squash from one friend and the recipe from another. Hey, I kinda am like Joe down the road.. almost.
Each element of the dish compliments the other – from the creamy ricotta, crunchy zucchini ribbons, sweet summer squash, fragrant pesto, zesty lemon, and tender little piles of pasta sheets, it’s an Italian food lovers dream. The pasta sheets are cut into quarters and gently fold into the meal so it’s technically not a lasagne but hey, let’s call it that anyway.
The flavours remind me of sitting in a cobblestone alley in Roma, sipping prosecco and watching the world go by.. I have a feeling I’ll be back there one day.
This is a fresh green summery take on an Italian classic, and is sure to impress all.
What’s your favourite Italian food? Let me know in the comments below.
Share this recipe so you can return to it and make it for dinner! Have a wonderful day, Bec xo
- 2 medium summer squash(es?)
- 2 medium zucchinis, rinsed
- 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1 packet fresh lasagne sheets
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 100 grams fresh basil pesto
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese to serve
- small chili/pinch of chili (if desired)
- salt and pepper
- good quality olive oil
- basil leaves
- Place a large pot of salted water on the stove, cover, bring to the boil.
- Whilst water is boiling, de-frost your peas. Set aside in a large mixing bowl once drained.
- Grate the summer squash and set aside in large mixing bowl.
- Peel the zucchini into ribbons and place in the mixing bowl.
- Crumble the ricotta and place in the mixing bowl
- Squeeze the juice of the lemon into the mixing bowl
- Slice the lasagne sheets into squares (or strips or whatever you wish!) ad ensure none are stuck together
- Once water has boiled, cook the lasagne sheets for 3-4 minutes or until al dente (cooking times for fresh pasta sheets)
- Once pasta has cooked, drain and rinse under cold water. Drain again and drizzle with olive oil.
- Combine pasta in the large mixing bowl, add the pesto, some olive oil and salt and pepper and mix with hands.
- Serve in large piles on a plate (hot or cold) and drizzle with olive oil, fresh basil, chili (if you wish) and parmesan cheese.