These Ricotta Pesto Pasta Handkerchiefs are an easy and delicious, meatless meal. Ricotta-filled pasta, brushed with pesto and baked on a base of marinara sauce.
Perfect for Meatless Monday, this pasta dish is a simple and easy take on an Italian classic – mandilli de seta, which is homemade, paper-thin pasta sheets (fazzoletti or “handkerchiefs”) served coated in pesto. If you ever have the time, it’s well worth making this dish with all homemade ingredients, from pasta, to pesto to marinara. For easy, weeknight fare though, this simple version is still a wonderful dish!
My version starts with short, egg pasta lasagna sheets, that are boiled, then bathed in a store-bought pesto. Simply fill with a ricotta filling and bake on some marinara sauce. Make easy by using a good-quality, store-bought marinara sauce and pesto.
Of course, if you have more time and/or energy, you can make your own marinara and/or pesto, as you like. With the availability of great store-bought marinara and pesto these days, I love being able to make this dish quickly and easily some times.
Cook’s Notes for Ricotta Pesto Pasta Handkerchiefs
I used my own Roasted Tomato Marinara Sauce that I cooked up and froze late last summer. It’s been great having a ready supply throughout the winter for dishes like this! If you want to make your own marinara, you can use that same recipe, but make a smaller batch.
Speaking of smaller batches, did you know that the newer recipes on Seasons and Suppers have the ability to easily scale the recipe up or down with the simple slide?! If you click on the number next to the “Serving” on the recipe card, you can move the slider up and down to automatically scale the recipe ingredients. The adjusted ingredients will transfer to the print view as well, so you can print your adjusted amounts. Cool, eh? And handy for those of us cooking for two these days :)
Store-bought pesto is just fine here and a great time saver for a weeknight meal, but feel free to make your own, if you prefer.
Look for the short, ruffle-less pasta sheets in with the regular dried lasagna noodles. They are usually 6 or 7 inches long. You could use regular length and simply cut in half once boiled. Fresh lasagna noodles are another good option and feature the added benefit of a super-quick boiling time.
Ricotta Pesto Pasta Handkerchiefs
An easy and delicious meatless meal, with ricotta filled pasta, brushed with pesto and baked on top of marinara sauce.
- Store-bought marinara sauce (or make your own)
- Store-bought pesto sauce (or make your own)
- 3 short egg pasta lasagna sheets, about 6-7 inches long (or use 2 regular length sheets and cut in half after boiling)
- 1 cup ricotta
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup grated Mozzarella cheese, for topping
Preheat oven to 450 F.
Boil a large pot of salted water and cook lasagna sheets until al dente. Rinse with cold water and set aside.
While pasta is boiling, prepare ricotta filling by combining all ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
Spoon a bed of marinara sauce on to the bottom of your baking skillet or dish. Take a sheet or cooked and drained pasta and lay on a plate. Brush both sides well with pesto sauce. Spoon a generous dollop of ricotta mixture on to one half of the lasagna sheet. Fold the other half over top. Lay the packet on top of the marinara sauce. Repeat with two more lasagna sheets, over-lapping them slightly. Sprinkle top with grated Mozzarella.
Cover skillet/dish with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes (or until sauce is bubbly and ricotta is melting). Remove foil and pop dish under the broiler for a a minute to brown up the cheese. Remove and enjoy!