Saturday, December 5, 2009

Skillet Lasagna - Veering from the Menu

Sometimes I plan meals for the week and religiously go through all of them. And sometimes all of a sudden none of them sound appealing, but I have meat hanging out in the fridge that needs to be cooked somehow.

Today I had this problem with about twenty minutes to figure out and make something so we could eat dinner as a family before Bean needed to hit the tub. Additionally, we were all vaguely hypoglycemic because the only thing we'd eaten since brunch at Auntie B's Place (go now if you are within a 100 mile radius - don't forget to bring cash) were treats from Sugar.

Google Reader starred items to the rescue!

I had starred this recipe partly because it was billed as an easy weeknight option (and partly because it just sounded delicious.) It totally proved to be both - about 5 minutes of active prep and 25 minutes of it hanging out while I unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher.

Slight fail on my part - I misread the directions (I blame it on hunger-induced blindness) and did not stir the noodles in when cooking. Some of them welded together into a pretty crispy sheet that, as Mishke said, was a tad reminiscent of rawhide. Totally my screw-up though - the recipe is delicious and will definitely go into the regular rotation.

Skillet Lasagna (Source: Found on Christine's Cuisine, originally from Cook's Illustrated)
-28 ozs can diced tomatoes
-1/3 jar pasta sauce
-1 tbsp. olive oil
-1/2 container mushrooms
-1 tbsp garlic
-1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
-1lb extra lean ground beef
-10 lasagna noodles, broken into 2 inch pieces
-4 cups baby spinach
-1/2 cup shredded parmesan
-1 cup part-skim ricotta
-3 tbsp chopped fresh basil

-Pour tomatoes with (including juice) into liquid measure and add water to make 4 cups. Add 1/3 jar pasta sauce and set aside
-Saute mushrooms, garlic, and red pepper flakes until mushrooms are browned in a deep skillet
-Add ground beef and cook until browned
-Scatter pasta over meat - do not stir in.
-Pour tomato mixture over pasta, cover pan and bring to a simmer Scatter the pasta over the meat but do not stir. Pour the diced tomatoes with their juices and the tomato sauce over the pasta. Cover and bring to a simmer.

- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes
-Add spinach and cook an additional 5 mins or so until pasta is al dente (I left the spinach on top to steam and then stirred in at the end.)

-Turn off heat and stir in parmesan
-Spoon ricotta over top, cover, and leave for 5 minutes
-Sprinkle with basil before serving

Picture to come

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