One-pan and slow cooker meals have been reigning in our kitchen ever since we started our renovation. This has given me a plethora of new recipes to add to my repertoire, and I’m certain these quick dinners will come in handy well after our renovation is complete (which will hopefully be soon). This recipe is one we’ve been making for a couple years now, and I figured it was about time to share it with all of you (nighttime picture and all).
The best thing about adding all my old starred items from Google Reader into Pocket (see my tutorial) is that I’ve come across a lot of recipes I had forgotten about, this being one of them. When I was on the hunt for a one-pan meal, I came across this gem that I saved in 2011. We made it a couple times that year and once again shortly after Clara was born, and I’m so glad to have it in the back of my mind next time I need a quick dinner.
I love lasagna but rarely make it, probably for the same reasons as some of you. It makes a ton of food, something we almost never need, and it can be somewhat time consuming. For a special occasion, sure. But on a weeknight? During a renovation? Definitely not. This recipe takes all the components of lasagna and turns them into a dinner that’s made entirely on the stovetop, without any layering or spreading. There isn’t much work involved, and the bulk of the time it takes to cook is hands off time, requiring only occasional stirring. This is one lasagna I’m happy to make on a weeknight. Also, look how happy this girl is to be eating it.
- COOK TIME:
- YIELD: 4-6 servings
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound ground beef, meatloaf mix or ground sausage meatloaf mix
8 ounces curly-edged lasagna noodles, broken into 2-inch lengths (about 10)
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 ounce parmesan cheese, grated (½ cup), plus more for serving
Freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese (about 1 cup)
¼ cup slivered fresh basil
Pour the tomatoes and their juice into a quart-size measuring cup. Add enough water to bring the amount to 4 cups.
Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and ½ teaspoon salt and cook for about 5 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and continue cooking until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the ground beef and use a wooden spoon to break it into small pieces. Cook until the meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
Evenly sprinkle the noodles over the meat (or just break them right over like I did if you forgot to break them up before starting). Pour the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce over the pasta. Cover and bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low. Continue simmering for about 20 minutes, until the pasta is tender, stirring occasionally. If the sauce looks dry after 15 minutes of cooking, add up to ¼ cup additional water.
Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the Parmesan. Season with salt, pepper and additional red pepper flakes, to taste. Drop heaping spoonfuls of ricotta over the mixture. Cover and let stand off the heat for 5 minutes to warm the ricotta.
Sprinkle with fresh basil and additional Parmesan, if desired.