Three Meals for Two People
Meal Three: Meaty Skillet LasagnaThis meaty skillet lasagna is simple and scaled down, requiring very little prep and it will not leave behind a wake of dirty dishes. Do not substitute no-boil lasagna noodles for the traditional, curly-edged lasagna noodles here because the no-boil noodles will fall apart. Most lasagna recipes are constructed to serve 8-10 people. Here, we just want enough to serve two people; however, this recipe is so filling, it could serve three people easy. This recipe recommends using 85% lean ground beef to cut down on the amount of grease; however, the beef is not as flavorful as Italian sausage pork. Next time I make this, I will try it with a flavored pork sausage, what I traditionally use in any Italian recipe.
Recipe for Meaty Skillet Lasagna
- 1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons good olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped fine
- salt & pepper
- 1 - 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 8 ounces of 85% lean ground beef
- 5 curly-edged lasagna noodles or 4.25 ounces, broken into 2-inch lengths
- 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 2 Tables of chopped fresh basil
- In a food processor, pulse the whole tomatoes until coarsely ground and no large pieces remain. You could use flavored crushed tomatoes and skip this step.
- Heat oil in a 10-inch, non-stick skillet (All-Clad makes the best 10-inch, non-stick skillet in the world).
- When skillet is hot, add onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until softened - about 5 minutes.
- Stir in garlic and pepper flakes and cook until you can smell them - about 30 seconds.
- Brown meat, breaking up meat, until lightly browned and no longer pink - about 5 minutes.
- Take the 2" portions of the UNCOOKED broken pasta and scatter over the meat, then pour processed tomatoes over pasta.
- Cover, increase heat to medium-high, allow to cook, stirring often, until pasta is tender - about 20 minutes
- Off heat - scatter mozzarella onto the mixture and half the Parmesan.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Dollop heaping tablespoons of ricotta over noodles, then sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.
- Cover and let stand off heat until cheese melts.
I allowed mine to stand a full 5 minutes.
Sprinkle with basil and serve with soft, warm bread.
Make sure you DO NOT STIR in the ricotta cheese, as it will make the sauce grainy and a pink mess. Plus the ricotta gives it a nice presentation, once it melts.