Sunday, February 6, 2011
I love this recipe. I really do. I love it because it’s easy. I love it because, like the Chili Mac I told you about recently, the entire meal cooks in one skillet. Most of all, I love it because it brought lasagna back into my kitchen. And that is a glorious thing.
I grew up eating lasagna on a fairly regular basis. My mom would make it all the time for company and often just for our family, too. Stan, however, did not grow up eating pasta. When we first met, he had very little interest in my carb of choice. Being the pasta-lover that I am, I sort of beat him into submission through years of pasta dinners. Seven years later, he likes a good bowl of pasta. What he doesn’t like, however, is lasagna. No matter whether it came from a restaurant, my mom, or us making it together, Stan has never met a lasagna that he genuinely liked.
This Skillet Lasagna changed everything. Stan loved it. He went back for seconds. I had to stop him from eating thirds so that he’d have enough left for lunch the next day. In other words, for the two of us, this recipe is a winner. It’s a perfect dinner – a skillet full of broken lasagna noodles, cooked until al dente, in a flavorful meat sauce. There’s cheese in this version too, but it accents the pasta rather than taking a starring role. Dollops of creamy ricotta and a light sprinkling of mozzarella and Parmesan decorate the top of the pasta. Topped off with some fresh basil confetti, this skillet lasagna looks as good as it tastes.
One Year Ago: Soft Oatmeal Cookies
Adapted from The Best Skillet Recipe
3 (14.5 oz.) cans whole peeled tomatoes
1 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 lb. lean ground beef
10 curly-edged lasagna noodles (about 8.5 oz.), broken into 2-inch pieces *
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup ricotta cheese, whole milk or part-skim
3 T. fresh basil, thinly sliced
* Do not use no-boil noodles for this.
Directions:Place the tomatoes with their juices in a blender or food processor and pulse until coarsely ground with no large pieces remaining.
Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Add the meat and cook until the meat is lightly browned and no longer pink, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Scatter the pasta pieces over the meat, and then pour the tomatoes over the pasta.
Cover the skillet and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring often, until the pasta is tender, about 20 minutes.
Take the skillet off the heat and stir in half of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place heaping tablespoons of ricotta over the top of the pasta and sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.
Cover the skillet and let it rest off the heat until the mozzarella has melted and the ricotta has heated through.
Sprinkle the basil over the pasta and serve.