An easy and delicious deconstructed lasagna. Ricotta-filled pasta, brushed with pesto and baked on a base of marinara sauce.
Perfect for Meatless Monday, this deconstructed lasagna 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.
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.
Get the Recipe: Deconstructed Ricotta Pesto Lasagna
- marinara sauce, store-bought or make your own
- pesto sauce, store-bought or make your own
- 3 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 Parmesan, grated
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese, grated, 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!
Am I correct in assuming I may assemble a bit before and bring to room temperature then bake? Thank you for a lovely recipe.
Hi Robin and yes, you can absolutely assemble ahead and bake later :) Enjoy!
I made this for dinner and it is a nice, easy, and tasty meal. I used jarred marinara and the pesto from Costco which is very good. Next time I will double the batch so I have some for leftovers.
So glad you enjoyed it! Thanks :)
My second recipe of yours this week! Made this tonight for dinner. Didn’t have sheets of lasagna so made my handkerchiefs out of two lasagna noodles. Yummy dish! I made a smaller dish as well and rolled the lasagna noodles with the filling for this one. Will put it in the freezer for a future meal. ?
So glad you enjoyed this Sandra and extra for freezing is always good :)
This looks so good and I am excited to make it since I accidentally bought about a year’s supply of lasagna noodles. YUM!
Lol Ellen :) Well you are definitely all set then! Enjoy.
I saw this recipe today and it looked so good, I just HAD to make it for dinner tonight. I was not disappointed. It was wonderful! Even with me not picking the right noodles (I’ve never worked with handkerchief pasta and couldn’t find them in my small store) and leaving it under the broiler too long, it was still delicious and comforting. I’ll be making this many more times. I just have to figure out where to buy those pasta sheets! TFS this with us.
So glad you enjoyed it, Denimo! Thanks for coming back to let me know :)
This looks incredible with the stunning bright red tomato sauce and the greens from the pesto. Funny enough, my son Gavin loves to wear ties everyday to school (or as often as we let him) and with that comes him literally folding in handkerchiefs into his suit jacket. I just showed him your recipe title, and he thought that was cool that it had a handkerchief. This is on the list to try for my kids.
Thanks Cindy and that’s funny about your son :) This is just the dish for him!
What an absolutely gorgeous dish! I’ve never heard of handkerchief pasta before but I will definitely have to try this. Thank you for sharing!
Thanks Valentina :)
This is the perfect small batch meal… it might even be great for Valentine’s Day too :)
Thanks Laura and yes, I’d be very happy to enjoy this on Valentine’s Day!
This is another fascinating recipe from your amazing kitchen Jennifer. I’ve never seen the lasagna sheet used this way and I love it. So outside the box – or maybe I’ve been living in a box. I used to make stuffed shells all the time when the kids were little. I miss that ricotta pasta combo!
Thanks Tricia and yes, this is such a quick and easy way to get all those great flavours together!
So much droooool! Seriously, who needs meat when you can have this?!? These Pasta Handkerchiefs are everything, Jennifer! So creative and ultimate in the delicious depatrment! Love the ricotta, pesto and marinara in here! This gives new meaning to the phrase triple threat! Pinned! Cheers!
Thanks so much, Cheyanne and you’re right, you will never miss the meat here!
Every time I come to your blog I just wish I were at your house to sample your amazing dishes. This looks SO good… like it is straight out of an italian restaurant. Yum!
Thanks Sarah :) I love this dish and easy is a bonus!
This is simplicity at its finest! Love those noodle sheets – yum!
Thanks so much, Katrina :)
I am literally drooling over this pasta dish Jennifer! I just saw those lasagna sheets at the market and I’ve been dying to use them. Can’t wait to try this one. I love how easy it looks too!
Thanks Mary Ann and yes, it’s wonderfully easy and as delicious as it looks :)
This is just glorious, I love the texture of fresh lasagna sheets, they are so delicate! The name handkerchief really fits!
Thanks so much, Sue :)
What a fabulous, delicious idea! This will definitely be on my “to make list”! I’m thinking about so many variations too!
Thanks Chris and yes! So many ways to customize this dish :)