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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Skillet Lasagna

Since the move, I've been in a major purge mindset...my closet was overflowing, our junk drawers were overflowing, the boxes in the basement were overflowing. It was time to say goodbye to that t-shirt from freshman year of high school, those broken darts, and the stained tablecloth. I was sick of living in clutter and though we have a lot more room in our new house, I began to realize that I'll never be able to buy new stuff if I'm not willing to part with some of the old. So I've filled dumpster after dumpster and dropped several large boxes off at Goodwill. I'm feeling cleaner, more organized, and..well, ready to hit the stores (I am my mother's daughter).

I've also been trying to do the same in our pantry. I need to clean out some space on the shelves for new cooking and baking endeavors and because I hate throwing food away, I'm forced to use up some of these miscellaneous ingredients. Case in point: a half-empty box of no-boil lasagna noodles (left over from the fabulous portabella mushroom and almond pesto lasagna).

Rather than make a standard, traditional lasagna, I decided to follow the skillet method. While it requires about as much prep time as your typical lasagna, the cook time was far shorter--a major plus when you're craving lasagna on a weeknight! I was impressed by how easily the layers stayed intact and though the pictures of it in the skillet look like a mess, it actually cut into pieces quite well.

Ryan, my anti-ricotta husband, really liked this dinner, calling it "light and fresh, for a lasagna". I'd have to agree--the vegetables layered between the noodles with moderate amounts of cheese was far lighter than a meat-centric, cheese-laden pasta dish....ideal for Spring!

One Year Ago: Strawberry Cream Tart

Looking for some good Cinco de Mayo recipes for tomorrow? I suggest Stacked Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas, Mexican Stuffed Mushrooms, Salsa Verde Bake, or Mexican Salad!  

Skillet Lasagna
adapted from Food Network

-1/4 cup extra-vigin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
-4 cloves garlic, sliced
-28 oz. canned diced tomatoes
-8 oz. tomato sauce
-4 tbsp chopped fresh basil
-kosher salt and pepper
-1 cup ricotta cheese
-1 large egg
-2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
-6 sheets lasagna noodles
-4 carrots, peeled into ribbons
-1 zucchini, peeled into ribbons
-3 1/2 cups baby spinach
-1/3 lb shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minutes, until golden. Add canned tomatoes and tomato sauce, 1 tbsp basil, 1/2 tsp salt, and pepper to taste. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove sauce from skillet and transfer to a blender or food processor. Pulse/blend to form a sauce. Return 1 cup of sauce to the skillet and reduce heat to low.
2. In a separate bowl, mix ricotta, egg, parmesan, remaining 3 tbsp basil, 1/2 tsp salt, and pepper to taste in a bowl.
3. Break lasagna noodles in half and place 3 lasagna noodles (or however many fit in your skillet) over the sauce. Layer half of the carrot and zucchini on top. Top with half of the spinach, half of the ricotta mixture, a handful of mozzarella and some tomato sauce.
4. Repeat the layers, finishing with noodles. Top with remaining sauce and cheese. Cover and simmer, until noodles reach desired softness and cheese is melted, 20-25 minutes.
5. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Top with parmesan and additional basil, if desired.
*Note--leftovers reheat well!