Friday, September 24, 2010

Skillet Lasagna

Who doesn't love a good lasagna?  Who has the time to make one during the week?  It has been a low energy week and pasta was in order and I was craving lasagna.  I just needed some carbs to help boost me out of the doldrums and I'll tell you what, this pasta dish made me and Ole Sweetie-Pi smile big!  Even after the dishes were put away, he was remarking how much he liked this; so this is going to be a keeper. 

The recipe describes itself as a skillet lasagna, and I can understand the designation, but to me this is more an Uptown American Chop Suey (or Goulash, depending on where you live). I think I just like to see my lasagna in nice layers, cut in even squares, smiles. Whatever you call it, it is good, filling, and makes enough to feed a small community.

What drew me to this recipe is that the raw pasta is cooked in the juice from the diced tomatoes.  The tomato juice was absorbed into the pasta as it cooked, giving additional flavor and nutrition, no tomato juice tossed down the drain, no waste.  I loved the big pieces of tomato in this.  The other surprise for me was the red pepper flakes.  I don't know if I've ever used red pepper flakes in a tomato sauce, but they added a bit of welcomed heat and flavor. 

Cook's Country Skillet Lasagna
( )  

1 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes plus enough water to make one quart

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
salt to taste
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound ground beef **
10 curly edged lasagna noodles, broken into 2-inch pieces **
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce **
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, divided
ground black pepper to taste
1 cup ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Pour tomatoes with their juices into 1 quart liquid measuring cup. Add water until mixture measures 1 quart. 

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. 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, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes.
Scatter pasta over meat but do not stir. pour diced tomatoes with juices and tomato sauce over pasta. Cover and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender, about 20 minutes. 

Remove skillet from heat and stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Dot with heaping tablespoons ricotta, cover, and let stand off heat for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with basil and remaining 3 tablespoons Parmesan. Serve.

Recipe says this serves 6, but I think it could easily serve 8, especially if you're serving with a nice salad and garlic bread.

**Okay, now my changes.  I used 1/2 pound ground beef and 1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage (skins removed and meat broken up; I think the sausage adds a lot of nice flavor.).  I didn't have lasagna noodles but I did have bow ties.  I had about half a box left so I used whatever was remaining in the box.  I didn't have tomato sauce, so I substituted with 3 tablespoons of  tomato paste, which, to me, gave a deeper tomato flavor, as well as helped to thicken the sauce, and it's a substitution I will do when I make this again. 


  1. This sounds SOO much easier than making a lasagna and I love that the noodles get cooked in the pan! One dish meals sound perfect for those days when you just need some carbs!

  2. I've always been put off by all the preparation for oven baked lasagna though maybe if I made it often enough it would be quick *grins. I love this simple recipe you've found and it sounds and looks so tasty.

  3. We love lasagna and this sounds so simple. Thanks.

  4. Sounds simple and looks delicious. I am always in the mood for a good lasagna!!!

  5. Hi Katy, you're back! Great to see you. Thanks for stopping by my site earlier. I love your ham cup with egg & cheese. It looks fantastic too! And so is the date nut bread. Yummm.... Thanks and hope you're enjoying your day.

  6. This looks delicious and Katy and I shall take your word for it. I'm always substituting so who knows what mine will end up looking like:)I do like the idea of adding red pepper flakes..'hot' is welcome here too!
    Thanks for sharing.

  7. Katy, this really sounds wonderful as does the bread below. The lasagna is perfect for a small family. Classically made versions last forever and just aren't practical for most of us. Thanks for sharing this with us. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  8. I've wondered about doing the "no cook" noodle route and you've convinced me. It's especially nice to have a lasagna recipe that doesn't need to feed 14 people. I agree with adding some sausage - mmmmm.

  9. Sounds like quick and easy comfort food! Will be giving this one a try. Thanks for sharing!

  10. I love pasta of any kind. Lasagna is definitely one of them. Thx for sharing.

  11. This looks and sounds so good and much easier than the traditional way. I like your addition of the Italian sausage and must give this a try. thanks for the recipe!

  12. Sounds like my kinda lasagna, Katy! Easy but still delicious.

  13. I love this idea Katy...lasagna is too time consuming to make very often, but this quick dish will be wonderful.I love skillet meals!

  14. Hi Katy, I've missed you. The lasagna looks great!

  15. I loved the idea!! Thanks for sharing.

    Have a great day!

  16. Katy, I remember years ago when I first went to weight watchers after giving birth to Justin - the leader shared a skillet lasagna recipe with us and it was my saving grace! This brings back those comfort feelings!

  17. Looks delicious and sounds easy to do. Perfect.

  18. Thank you for posting this Katy, it sounds delicious!! I agree about the red pepper flakes, it doesn't take a lot, but they sure add a great flavor. This sounds like a keeper!!

  19. This sounds great, I love that it's so adaptable too.

  20. I love that the pasta cooks right in the juice like that. This looks like a fun and tasty weeknight meal! :)

  21. This is my kind of lasagna! If it weren't the hubby's birthday, I would make this today! But he requested Ribeyes. Maybe when the weather gets under 100! ;)

  22. This looks like a great recipe for my family to try, thank you for posting it

  23. This is the way to do it, leaving out a tedious step and still having a great meal.


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