Tastes exactly like baked lasagna, but it's much quicker to make, requires no layering, and dirties significantly fewer dishes! This is based on a recipe from www.cookscountry.com. Meatloaf mix is a combination of ground beef, pork, and veal, sold pre-packaged in many supermarkets; you can use only ground beef if you prefer. Use a 12-inch skillet with a tight-fitting lid. If you're craving that crusty baked top, just pop your skillet under the broiler to crisp up the cheese topping. —Peanut
28 oz. can diced tomatoes
medium onion, chopped small
cloves garlic, minced or pressed (about 1 tablespoon)
red pepper flakes
meatloaf mix or ground beef
lasagna noodles (not the no-bake variety), preferably curly-edged, broken into 2-inch pieces
8 oz. can tomato sauce
plus 2 tbsp. for topping Parmesan cheese, grated fine
fresh basil, chopped
salt & pepper
grated or sliced fresh mozzarella for topping (optional)
Pour tomatoes with their juices into 1-quart liquid measuring cup. Add water until mixture measures 1 quart.
Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and ½ tsp. salt, and cook until onion begins to brown, about five minutes. Stir in garlic and pepper flakes, and cook until fragrant about 30 seconds. Add ground meat and cook, breaking apart meat, until no longer pink, about four minutes.
Scatter pasta over meat but do not stir yet. Pour diced tomatoes with their juices and tomato sauce over pasta. Cover and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender, about 20 minutes.
Remove skillet from heat and stir in ½ cup Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Dot with heaping tablespoons of ricotta, cover, and let stand off heat for five minutes. Add chopped basil, then gently swirl basil and ricotta through the lasagna (do not blend completely). Sprinkle with remaining two tablespoons Parmesan. [Optional: top with mozzarella and heat under broiler until bubbly.] Serve.