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Have you ever had one of those days when you are out of ideas but you have to make something for dinner? When you just don’t feel like cluttering your kitchen with a mess of ingredients or utensils? This doesn’t happen to me often. But when it does, I’m thankful that I have a go-to dish that never fails me.
This is foolproof, easy and requires very few steps. It only takes one simple pot. You don’t even have to turn on the oven! And it is goooood. I made a large skillet of this all-in-one dish this week; we had it for dinner, two days later it was reheated for lunch and I froze half for later … for another day when I’m feeling less than inspired.
Easy Stovetop Lasagna
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 ¼ lb lean ground beef or chicken sausage –I like Spicy Italian chicken sausage with casings removed
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Spanish onion, chopped ½ inch
- 1 red pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped ½ inch
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 42 oz. diced tomato in juice (I like Muir Glen)
- ¾ cup water
- 9 oz. package no boil lasagna noodles (break each noodle into 5 pieces with your hands)
- ⅓ cup fresh basil, chiffonade (divide in half)
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup grated, high quality fresh Parmesan cheese
Heat oil in a 12-inch sauté pan over medium high heat, add meat, and fry while breaking up the chunks of ground beef or chicken sausage for about seven minutes.
Shove the meat to one side and in the same pan add onion, red pepper, garlic, salt and pepper; sauté on medium heat for five minutes until a bit soft. Add canned tomatoes with their juices and the water. Stir in half of the fresh basil. Stir in pasta. (I do this over a couple of minutes so the pieces don’t stick to each other) cover, reduce to low and stir occasionally, until pasta is tender, about 20 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and spread the shredded mozzarella cheese over the top of the mixture. Cover the pan with a lid and let it rest for three minutes so the mozzarella cheese melts.
To serve, pass the rest of the fresh basil and grated Parmesan cheese as toppings.
As an aside, I made this at my son’s house and couldn’t find fresh or dried basil at home, so I boldly added Za’atar. No one thought it tasted weird and actually it was pretty darned good. Basil is still my fave though!
For those who don’t like or eat cheese, it is flavorful enough without adding mozzarella or Parmesan–but I would add some chopped green olives or capers and perhaps more salt in this case.
Try making this meat free with chopped mushrooms!