Most people think of pasta as a savory recipe. But the noodles themselves are very versatile. Made with flour, water and egg, they can be cooked for dessert as well as the main course.
While not an April Fool joke, it seems like the right dessert for April Fool’s Day.
The recipe was created by Michael Stambaugh of the El Conquistador Resort in San Juan, Puerto Rico, for a recipe contest held by the National Pasta Association and the Culinary Institute of America. It won third place.
After you master this recipe, you may develop your own ideas for variations on the theme of dessert lasagna.
Fruit lasagna for dessert! Photo courtesy National Pasta Association.
4 cups strawberries, washed and trimmed, 8 berries reserved for garnish
4 cups blackberries, washed
1/2 cup toasted, sliced almonds
Garnish: mint sprigs
If you don’t like one of the fruits in the recipe, pick another to purée. Photo courtesy Green Giant Fresh
1. COOK the pasta according to package directions, substituting 2 tablespoons of sugar for the salt. Rinse, drain and set aside.
2. STIR together the ricotta cheese and ½ cup sugar in a medium bowl. Set aside.
3. PURÉE 4 kiwis with 2 tablespoons sugar in a food processor. Transfer the purée to a bowl and set aside. Rinse the processor bowl.
4. PURÉE half the strawberries with 2 tablespoons sugar in the food processor. Strain the purée into a bowl and set aside. Rinse the processor bowl.
5. PURÉE half the blackberries with 2 tablespoons sugar in the food processor. Strain the purée and set aside.
6. SLICE the remaining kiwis into ¼-inch thick rounds. Slice the strawberries into 1/8-inch thick pieces. Slice the blackberries in half.
To Assemble The Lasagna
1. RESERVE 1/4 cup of each of the purées to use as a garnish.
2. COVER the bottom of a 9-inch-by-13-inch glass baking pan with 3 lasagna noodles. Spoon 1/3 of the ricotta on top and spread it evenly.
3. POUR the kiwi purée over the cheese and arrange the kiwi slices on top of the purée. Lay 3 more lasagna noodles on top and cover with 1/2 the remaining cheese.
4. POUR the strawberry purée over the cheese and sprinkle with sliced strawberries. Lay 3 more lasagna noodles on top and cover with the remaining cheese. Pour the blackberrys purée over the cheese and sprinkle with blackberries. Top with a final layer of pasta. Cover tightly with plastic and refrigerate overnight.
5. TO SERVE: Sprinkle the lasagna with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and with the toasted almonds. Cut into 8 rectangles and use a spatula to set the pieces on dessert plates. Decorate the plates with dots of the reserved purées. Garnish each piece of lasagna with a strawberry and a sprig of mint.