Wednesday, March 20, 2013
While in some parts of the US, it may still feel like winter - I absolutely love living in SoCal where our winters never really see snow. This past weekend, we (or really just my husband) had worked on our yard. I have been wanting to plant new perennial flowers in the front yard to improve our curb appeal and mainly to spruce up the outside of the house. Eric had to update the sprinkler systems and fix a couple broken sprinkler heads and it took him 3 days and 9 trips to Home Depot to finally finish phase one of the garden. Poor guy, it was his birthday weekend and he worked on the house for the majority of the weekend. Next weekend is dedicated to my vegetable and herb garden, and I can't wait!
I'm already dreaming about walking back to my garden and cutting fresh herbs for my dishes. At one point, we had basil, rosemary, thyme, chives, sage, oregano, and mint. Over time, they all went a little dry and weed crazy - so we are starting from scratch again. Since the colder days are almost behind us, menu planning has shifted to less oven-type meals and more stove-top meals. In my opinion, most oven-type meals are comfort food dishes like casseroles and lasagnas, and luckily this recipe is a combination of an oven-type meal cooked on the stove-top for that comfort food satisfaction.
This skillet lasagna is easy to prepare for a weeknight dinner and my only gripe is that I couldn't believe the grocery store that I had visited didn't have any ricotta cheese in stock. I had to substitute cottage cheese which is fair substitute to use instead. I plan on making this again when I have fresh basil from the garden to use, too. I served this dish with a simple green salad, garlic bread and we even had a little bit of creamy lemon gelato for dessert which all made for a wonderfully delicious rustic Italian meal.
Adapted from Annie's Eats
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1 1/2 (28 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, with juices
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 pound Italian sausage, crumbled
10 curly-edges lasagna noodles, broken into 2-inch lengths
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup cottage cheese (or ricotta cheese)
3 tablespoon fresh basil, minced (optional)
In the bowl of the food processor, pulse the tomatoes until coarsely chopped. Or coarsely chop the tomatoes.
In a large non-stick skillet (or cast iron), heat the oil over medium heat. Saute the onions with the salt and pepper, stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the Italian sausage to the pan and cook until no longer pink, stirring occasionally. Scatter the broken lasagna noodles in the skillet and pour the tomatoes with their juices over the top. Increase the heat to medium-high and cover. Cook at a vigorous simmer, stirring often, until the pasta is tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Preheat the broiler. When pasta is tender, remove the skillet from the heat and stir in half of the mozzarella and Parmesan, and 1/4 cup of the cottage cheese. Dot the remaining cottage cheese over the top, then layer with the remaining cheeses in an even layer. Transfer the skillet to the oven and broil until the cheese is lightly browned and bubbly, being careful not to burn the top, give or take 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, and garnish with chopped basil and serve.
Yield: 6 servings
Review: Eric and I loved the simplicity of this dish. It's a great weeknight dinner and is not heavy as your typical lasagna. Plus, whenever I do make lasagna, I hate that I'm always stuck with leftovers for days. This dish is perfect for just the two of us and enough leftovers for one day.