Ever since Toby and Theo graduated from puréed food, I have been on the hunt for delicious, simple meals that we can all look forward to eating. Sesame Street entered our lives a couple of months ago (thanks Amazon Prime!), and my new criteria for cooking involves anything I can make in a single episode, using ingredients delivered through Amazon’s Prime Now Whole Foods delivery service. (No, Amazon did not pay me to write this.)
Enter skillet lasagna! It is far and away my favorite weeknight recipe right now. You get all of the wonderful meaty, cheesy, tomatoey flavors of lasagna with a fraction of the work. If you really hunker down and cook you can get this done in 30 minutes, but I prefer a more leisurely 45 since I inevitably have to change a diaper or two and resolve a toy dispute in the midst of cooking.
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated The Best 30-Minute Recipe
Time: 30-45 minutes
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic from jar (or about 2 cloves minced)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Salt & pepper
2 cups water
6 ounces lasagna noodles (~7-8 noodles) broken into two inch pieces
25 oz jar of marinara sauce (I used Whole Foods 365 brand)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
Dried basil (optional)
Heat large non-stick skillet over high heat. Cook ground meat until brown, using wooden spatula to break meat into small pieces. Drain off excess fat from skillet.
Stir in garlic, red pepper flakes and 1/2 tsp salt. Reduce heat to medium high, cooking about 30 seconds.
Sprinkle broken lasagna noodles over meat. Pour marinara sauce and 2 cups of water into skillet. Bring contents of skillet to vigorous simmer and cover skillet. Cook for about 17-20 minutes until noodles are tender, adjusting heat as needed to maintain simmer. Scrape bottom of skillet with spatula to release stuck-on meat and noodles every 3-5 minutes.
Remove skillet from heat. Stir in half of Parmesan and half of mozzarella. Season generously with salt and pepper. Spoon ricotta over pasta in large dollops. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and mozzarella. Re-cover for 3-5 minutes to allow cheese to melt. Sprinkle with small amount of dried basil if desired.