Friday, August 24, 2012

Skillet Lasagna

Whew! What a crazy ride we have been on this summer! So crazy, in fact, that I didn't cook a single meal for three months!

In the past three months, we have moved from Texas to North Carolina, both started new jobs, said many tearful goodbyes, pulled out of a contract on our first choice house, found a new house, dealt with closing issues, lived with other people and then in a hotel with our three dogs, got our stuff packed and moved here, and put our Texas house on the market. And in the big fat middle of it, I fell and badly broke the bones in my left leg leaving me mostly wheelchair bound for 6 weeks and counting. I'm documenting our new adventure if you want to check it out.

The upside is that our new kitchen is finally unpacked enough for us to hit the grocery store and plan some meals! Since cooking is my therapy, I was stoked to get back in there.

Knowing that some of the stuff is still in a box somewhere, and my mobility is limited, I opted for an easy to pull together meal. This dish comes together in about 30 minutes and uses few ingredients or dishes. We both loved it! Lasagna is delicious but such a pain to make. This gives you all the flavors without the work!

Skillet Lasagna
3 (14.5 oz) cans whole peeled tomatoes
1 Tbs olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
pinch red pepper flakes
3/4 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1 lb ground beef
10 (curly-edged) lasagna noodles, broken into 2-inch pieces
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

Pulse the tomatoes in a food processor until coarsely ground and no large pieces remain, about 12 pulses. (I used my immersion blender instead - you could probably sub crushed tomatoes and it'd be just as good!)

Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring often, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the ground beef to the skillet. Cook, stirring often and using a wooden spoon to break up the meat, about 3 to 5 minutes, or until it's no longer pink.

Scatter the pasta in the skillet, then pour the tomatoes over the top. Stir, increase the heat to medium-high, and cover. Cook at a vigorous simmer, stirring often, until the pasta is tender, 20 minutes. (stirring often is important!)

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.

Source: Pink Parsley

See Aimee Cook

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