Lasagna Tart Recipe

My mom's friends hosted a shower for my sister and served something similar to this. A noodle-free lasagna baked in a pie crust - layers of zucchini, ricotta, and tomato sauce.

Lasagna Tart

My mom's friends hosted a shower for my sister months ago - not long after she had Jack. Many of them have known my mom longer than Heather and I have been alive, so it seemed fitting to share the new addition to the family with them. I have to tell you, one of the things you immediately notice when these ladies congregate is how tiny they are - a tribe of feisty five-footers. And they are organized. Like a small colony of bees - on the day of the shower everyone had an important job to do. I snuck into the kitchen just before lunch was served and saw a huge green salad. Next to it were three deliciously rustic savory pies. As one was being cut and plated, I started asking questions. As it turns out, I was looking a noodle-free lasagna baked in a pie crust - layers of zucchini, ricotta, and tomato sauce. And lots of cheese. I've been meaning to do my own version ever since.

Lasagna Tart Recipe

When I finally got around to putting this idea in motion, I switched things up a bit. For starters, I did a tart version instead of pie. But you could do either, really. I riffed on Clotilde's Easy Olive Oil Tart Dough for the the crust, and kept things pretty straight-forward beyond that. I scaled back on the cheese. A lot. I mean, there is plenty of ricotta in this tart, but nothing compared to the original. In addition to the cheese inside the the original, it was also topped with a thick layer of mozzarella.

Lasagna Tart Recipe

I think the source of the original recipe might have been a vintage Junior League cookbook, but I'm not positive. You can certainly experiment depending on the season and what ingredients you have on hand. Just keep in mind that you are going to want to keep the ingredients relatively simple, not too wet (there is lots of moisture in the ricotta and sauce), and quick-cooking. You could put chopped herbs, or a spice blend in the crust - lots of different directions to take this.

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Lasagna Tart Recipe

You can do this with any par-baked pie or tart shell you like. Next time around I might experiment with a Parmesan tart crust like this one, or add some herbs to this version.

2 medium zucchini, sliced into very very thin coins
scant 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

Tart Crust
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or spelt flour)
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
zest of one lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
scant 1/2 cup cold water

Tomato Sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
scant 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
pinch of salt
1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes

1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese

Preheat your oven to 375F degrees, and place a rack in the middle. Oil a 10-inch tart pan and set aside.

Start by tossing the sliced zucchini with the salt in a medium bowl. Transfer the zucchini to a colander and let it drain while you make the tart shell and tomato sauce.

To make the tart shell combine the flour, salt, and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle the olive oil over the flour and stir that in as well. Drizzle the cold water over the flour and mix with a fork just until it is absorbed. Knead one or twice - just until the dough comes together into a ball. On a lightly floured surface use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a circle roughly 13-inches across. Ease the pastry into your tart pan and press it into the corners and up the sides without stretching the dough. Trim away any excess dough, and place the pan in the refrigerator for at least thirty minutes. When the dough is done resting, prick the crust with a fork a few times. Now line the pastry with parchment paper and fill the tart with pie weights. Bake for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the paper and pie weights, then toast the tart crust in the oven for another five minutes or so before transferring it to a rack to cool. Leave the oven on, but dial it down to 350F.

In the meantime, you can make the sauce. Stir the garlic, olive oil, red pepper flakes, and salt together in a small, cold saucepan. Turn the heat to medium-high and cook until the garlic starts to sizzle just a bit. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, bring to a simmer, cook the sauce down a bit, 10 minutes or so, then remove from heat.

When you are ready to assemble the tart, use a spatula to spread half of the ricotta cheese across the base of the tart shell. Now spoon about half of the sauce over the ricotta and arrange half of the zucchini in a single layer on top of the sauce (see image). If your zucchini is still quite wet, press it into some paper towels. I use my fingers for this next part. After spooning the remaining ricotta over the zucchini, push it around a bit with your fingers so that it forms a layer. Arrange another layer of zucchini and finish with the remaining sauce. You want the filling to nearly, but not quite fill the pan.

Place the tart on a rimmed baking sheet - in case you end up with an overflow - and bake for roughly 40 minutes or until the tart is cooked through. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes before serving. I would have dusted the top of this with a bit of Parmesan, but was out of it!

Serves 8.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Comments

The Barefoot Contess on TV uses heavy beans in a baggy to weight down her crusts, etc.

Lelah

Um, yes please: that looks super yummy!

Pamela, like Nikki does, I use parchment paper and dried beans to par cook my crusts. I have found that it works better if I give a few extra minutes since the beans don't heat up as fast as the pie weights. You will of course want to be careful when you take them out. I think I need to add a few ingredients to my shopping list.... Thanks Heidi!

Ari

This looks fantastic! I love the idea of using just veggies and no noodles. The tart shell is a wonderful twist on this classic. Great healthy variation of lasagna.

Wow, I love tarts and I love lasagna. And it's perfect for company because it's Beautiful. Thanks for the great recipe...

If you want flavour, and not a mass of sog, sauté whatever vegetables you use before assembling the tart. I agree with the weirdness of calling it "lasagne tart", my first thought upon reading the detailed recipe was "heck, what a lot of stodge"; surely "courgette & tomato tart" would be more precise and descriptive? An afterthought: - What's wrong with using eggs and cheese? - we all need a balanced diet for healthy bodies and bodies.

Portuguese_Kate

My mouth is watering! I can't wait to try this out.

Hinna

My Sicilian mom always made a pie crust with olive oil, so this brings me back. I think this would be great with red and green peppers (grilled and peeled) and some olives rather than zucchini (my husband hates zucchini). Or with some sauteed greens, chard or kale. I have a little tub of dried beans I use over and over for pie weights, and use parchment rather than foil. Many thanks for your excellent recipes, Heidi.

nicky

I Love your blog,!! I am wondering if you can include calories per sevring with all the recipes to help me use them more efficiently in my diet!

Melanie

This looks wonderful! I have leftover grilled veggies from yesterday so I will be making this today ;-)

Laura

If I added mushrooms, do you think I would need to saute them a little first, or just add them sliced and fresh? Can't wait to try this! HS: I would saute them first Charlene.

Charlene

I'm wondering if the raw zucchini releases a lot of liquid into the tart. I usually need to roast or sauté my veggies when using in a vegetarian lasagne. Having said that, I would love to skip that step.

I love pastry, and would like to try an oil crust, especially since I'm currently out of shortening. What gives me pause is using tin foil with weights, as the aluminum transfer into the food, and thus my blood stream isn't too attractive. I just listened to a scientist say that when we use personal care products with aluminum in them, it takes 20 seconds for it to show up in the brain. Since my mom has some kind of dementia (possibly from the heavy metals in the repeated non-organic hair dyes,) I am more careful. Shortening for clogging arteries, or aluminum doesn't seem like great choices. Hmm. Does the pie crust bubble up, then without the foil and weights? What else could we use? Otherwise, I love the creativity and simplicity of your recipes, Heidi. HS: You know, you're right Pamela - I've been trying to use less/no aluminum. I think this was more out of habit. I'm going to make a tweak to the recipe and call for parchment paper instead - which doesn't shape as well, but should do the job. Thx. -h

I can't wait to try this! To make it in pie form, what changes, if any, would I make to the tart dough? Thanks!

Alex

This looks so delicious! I LOVE the tart idea and the ingredients that go into this crust. The health and yum factors are equally appealing, I'll be making this by the week's end... and probably trying some sliced mushrooms and tomatoes as well, just to up the veggie factor. The artichoke suggestion sounds great too. I happen to have a large block of parmesan in my fridge and am pretty excited. Thanks for posting a new take on lasagna!

This looks great - and I have a zucchini shrimp lasagne that I haven't made in a while that could work really well with this – it’s half goat cheese and ricotta... now I'm really inspired! Thanks Heidi!

I feel like leaving work, running home and trying this out!!!!!

Linda

I like that the crust uses whole-wheat flour and olive oil. This looks like such a fun, novel way of enjoying lasagna flavors.

Perhaps stumbling over the 'lasagne' in the name is a British thing. I like lasagne. I like tarts - why confuse the two? Having said that, it looks a simple idea well worth trying. But now I'm going to see what's in a lasagne recipe!

Paul

Curt -- a pie weight are small weights generally made from some form of metal designed to keep the bottom of the pastry crust from puffing up during baking. You can buy some at a good kitchen store but my mom used a couple of small baby food jars filled about halfway with rice. Anything that can survive the heat of the oven, not give its flavor to the crust and weigh it down can be used. I agree with those who are down on hiding veggies from kids. As opposed to raising healthy eaters, it just seems to make them into even pickier eaters.

kgrassi

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