Friday, March 03, 2006

Cook's Country Skillet Lasagna

Yummy lasagna on a weeknight? You bet!
This doesn't seem very exciting when you begin, but it turns out really great.

Serves 4 to 6

1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1 pound meatloaf mix (combination of ground beef, pork, and veal)
10 curly-edged lasagna noodles, broken into 2-inch lengths
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesean cheese
1 cup ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1. Pour tomatoes with their juices into 1-quart liquid measuring cup. Add water until mixture measures 1 quart (4 cups).

2. Heat oil in large 12 inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add ground meat and cook, breaking apart meat and cook, breaking apart meat, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes.

3. Scatter pasta over meat in a single layer but do not stir yet. Pour diced tomatoes with juices and can of tomatoe sauce over pasta. Cover; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender, about 20 minutes.

4. Remove skillet from heat and stir in 1/2 cup Parmesean. Season with salt and pepper. Dot with heaping tablespoons of ricotta, cover, and let stand off heat for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh basil and remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesean. Serve.

Substitute ideas:
switch the meatloaf mix out for 1 pound Italian sausage; add 1 chopped red bell pepper to skillet with onion.

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