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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Stove-Top Lasagna - Mary Polk

serves 4 (unless you really like lasagna like me)

A good recipe when you want lasagna, but don't have time for all the prep work and layering.....pretty simple, the only problem I ever had in making this is to have to add more tomatoes, so have some extra on hand just in case. and of course, if you want it cheesier add more cheese.

  • 3 (14+1/2 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes( Don't use the crushed, tried it and it didn't come out as good)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 med. onion, minced
  • salt
  • 3 med. garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 lb 85% lean ground beef 
  • (you can use 1 lb Meatloaf mix instead if packaged and available in your store)
  • 10 curly-edged lasagna noodles, broken into 2-inch pieces(Do not use the no-boil kind)
  • 2 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 ounce parmesan cheese, grated (1/4 cup)
  • ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese (whole-milk or part-skim)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil leaves (if not on hand the dried spice will do)

1. Pulse the tomatoes with juice in a food processor until coarsely ground and no large pieces.
2. Heat the oil in a 12 inch non-stick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring often, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the combined ground meats and cook, breaking apart the meat, until lightly browned and no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Scatter the pasta over the meat, then pour the processed tomatoes over the pasta. Cover, increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often and adjusting the heat to maintain a vigorous simmer, until pasta is tender, about 20 minutes.
4. Turn off the heat, stir in half the mozzarella and half the parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dot heaping tablespoons of the ricotta over the noodles, then sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and parmesan. Cover and let stand till cheese melts. Sprinkle with basil leaves.

Lasagna with sausage and peppers
Follow the recipe, substituting 1 lb of italian sausage, removed from it's casing, for the ground meat. Add 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped coarsely to the skillet with the onion.

Vegetarian Lasagna
Cook as above, just don't add meat and if you want, add in other vegetables of your choice when you add the onion.

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