Sunday, December 16, 2012

Skillet Lasagna

I made this skillet lasagna and it was good.  Really good.  However, here's a modified version that will make your life a little easier:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, minced in a mini-chopper
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced in a mini-chopper
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 10 (curly-edged) lasagna noodles, broken into 2-inch pieces*
  • 3 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes*
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese (part-skim is fine)
  • 3 Tbs chopped fresh basil**
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Brown the ground beef in a 12-inch nonstick, oven-proof skillet over medium heat and drain the fat.  Add the onion, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning and cook until fragrant.  Add the cans of tomatoes and simmer.

Cook the pasta according to the directions then add to the skillet and stir together adding a small amount of water if needed.  Increase the heat to medium-high and cook until well-heated.

Meanwhile, preheat the broiler.

Remove the skillet from heat, and stir in half the mozzarella and parmesan, and 1/4 cup of the ricotta.  Dot the remaining ricotta over the noodles in tablespoons, then sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella and parmesan.  Transfer to the oven and broil until the cheese melts and is starting to brown.  Remove from oven, sprinkle with basil, and serve.

*  The original recipe calls for whole tomatoes that ultimately get chopped so I said, "Why add the extra step?"  Just go with diced tomatoes.  Also, I only used two cans because I had some pasta sauce in the fridge I needed to get rid of as well.  It was a pretty even trade, except the pasta sauce had more flavor than the plain tomatoes so I'd probably do it again.

*  It also stated to put the lasagna noodles in the skillet uncooked and to stir vigorously for 20 minutes while they cooked because if you don't stir them they clump together and stick to the bottom of the skillet.  I did it this way and wished I didn't.  I turned away for two seconds to rinse out a dish and, sure enough, my noodles clumped and stuck to my skillet.  Never again.  No way.  Stirring for twenty minutes was such a time waster; trust me, just boil your noodles separately.

** I didn't have fresh basil; I had a basil paste I stirred in with the seasonings and it really increased the flavor.

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