This month, we're featuring delicious meals that you can make using a single bowl. First up: Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion, authors of the fantastic cookbook KEEPERS, share their recipe for lasagna that you can make in a skillet (yes!)...
By Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion, authors of KEEPERS, a fantastic cookbook featuring easy weeknight recipes
Most lasagnas involve a big investment of time and a sink full of pots and pans, but not this one. It has all the pleasures of lasagna—layers of tender noodles, homemade meat sauce, deliciously gooey cheese—but can be whipped up in less than an hour using a single skillet. We’re fans of Barilla’s no-boil lasagna noodles, but feel free to use whatever brand you like.
Recipe: Skillet Lasagna
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. sweet or hot Italian sausages, casings removed
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
Large pinch of hot red pepper flakes
1 tsp. dried oregano
Two 28-oz. cans whole, peeled tomatoes
1 sprig basil, plus a handful of basil leaves
Salt and pepper
One 9-oz. package no-boil lasagna noodles
4 oz. mascarpone cheese or cream cheese (1/2 cup)
1/2 lb. fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced and patted dry
What to do:
In a large high-sided sauté pan with a 3-quart capacity and a lid, heat the oil over high heat until it shimmers. Add the sausages and cook, stirring often and breaking up the meat, until browned, about 4 minutes. Leaving as much oil in the pan as possible, transfer the sausage to a medium bowl and set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the onions, garlic and pepper flakes to the pan, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened, about 7 minutes. Add the oregano, the tomatoes and their juices, crushing the tomatoes with your hands or a potato masher, the sprig of basil, and the cooked sausage and any juices. Season with salt and pepper, then gently simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check the seasonings (it should be a little salty) and discard the basil sprig.
Break half of the lasagna noodles in half crosswise (it’s fine if smaller pieces break off) and as you do so, push each piece into the sauce under the sausage, distributing them evenly throughout the pan. Break the remaining half of the noodles in half and distribute them evenly over the sauce, then push down on them with the back of a spoon to submerge them. Cover the pan and gently simmer (raising the heat a little, if needed) until the noodles are tender and the sauce has thickened slightly, about 12 minutes.
Dollop the mascarpone over the lasagna and swirl it into the sauce. Top with the mozzarella and gently simmer, covered, until the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes. Off the heat, top with the basil leaves, tearing any large ones. Let the lasagna rest, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, then serve.
Tip: The next time you end up with a crusty or blackened skillet or pot (it happens to everyone), don’t sigh and reach for the scouring pad. Just add an inch or so of water and briskly simmer until the stuck-on or burned bits soften and start to come away from the bottom. After the water cools, wash as usual. For real doozies, add a big splash of distilled white vinegar to the water before boiling; after draining the cooled water, scrub with baking soda, then wash. It should be (almost) as good as new. We usually start the process before we sit down for dinner, so by the time we’re ready to clean up, the pan is cool enough to handle.
Thank you so much, Kathy and Caroline! I love your book!
P.S. More best recipes, including ricotta gnocchi and spaghetti sauce.
(Recipe by Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion, authors of KEEPERS. Thanks to Shoko for helping with this series.)