Monday, July 20, 2009

Lasagna Tart

adapted from 101 Cookbooks

Ok, so this didn't photograph all to well, but I have to say it was one of the better meals I've made in a while and Ben ate the whole thing in one sitting. Be sure to drain the zucchini for as long as possible, they emit a lot of moisture in the cooking process and I was left with quite a bit of liquid at the top. All in all this was a great dinner and one I will be trying again soon!

2 medium zucchini, sliced into very thin coins
1 tsp salt
2 cups ricotta cheese (this is hard to find in Finland, so we used cottage cheese)
3 cups spaghetti sauce (about 800 grams or 28 ounces)

Tart Crust
2 cups flour (1/2 white, 1/2 whole wheat)
1 tsp salt
zest from one lemon or 1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/3 cup cold butter (75 grams)
scant 1/2 cup cold water

Preheat oven to 375 (190 C) and place a rack in the middle.

Start by tossing the sliced zucchini with salt in a medium bowl. Transfer to a colander and let it drain as much fluid as possible while you make the tart crust.

To make the tart dough, mix together flour, salt, lemon zest, basil and oregano in a large mixing bowl. Cut in the butter until it forms little pea sized balls and slowly add the cold water a little at a time until the dough just comes together. Knead once or twice, and on a lightly floured surface roll out the dough until it is about 1/4 inch thick (1/2 centimeter) and large enough for your 9-inch tart pan.

Ease the pastry into your pan and press it in so it is snug around the edges. Trim away excess dough and place the dough in the fridge to rest for at least 30 minutes.

In the meantime, heat up the spaghetti sauce and simmer for about 10 minutes, letting some of the moisture evaporate.

Once the dough is done resting, prick the crust with a fork a few times. Line the dough with parchment paper and fill the tart with pie weights (dry beans or dry rice works as well). Bake for 15 minutes and carefully remove the paper and weights, then toast the tart crust in the oven for another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven to cool for a few minutes and turn the heat down to 350. This step is to avoid having a soggy bottom crust.

Use the spatula and spread about 1/2 of the ricotta cheese at the bottom of the tart, then a layer of zucchini. Then spread 1/2 of the spaghetti sauce, with another layer of zucchini, then the other half of the cheese, another layer of zucchini and top it off with the rest of the sauce. You want the filling to nearly reach the top.

Place the tart on a rimmed baking sheet (in case of overflow) and bake for abou 40 minutes or until the tart is cooked through. Remove, sprinkle the top with parmesan and cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

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