Friday, November 30, 2012

Lasagna 2 ways: easy skillet or soup

I love making lasagna. I really do like making the sauce and layering all the yummy goodness of pasta, sauce and cheese. The problem is, I don't always have time to make lasagna, and wait for it to cook.

I came across a recipe the other day for a skillet lasagna. Its both easy and quick, so its a good alternative to lasagna on those nights when you just don't have the time for the real thing. The recipe originally comes from Weight Watchers One Pot Cookbook, and has been changed a few times down the line.

The other recipe I have included is a lasagna soup, which is Y.U.M.M.Y. You might notice that I don't use chopped onions or real garlic cloves ever. Ever. I have never been able to get past the crunch of an onion, and too much garlic makes me sickly. So, I always use the powder variety of both of those items, and in small amounts even at that.. You can use the real thing if it pleases you.

Easy Skillet Lasagna
Serves 4

1 can Italian diced tomatoes, drained (can blend up if you don't like tomato chunks in your lasagna)
2 small cans tomato sauce
onion powder to taste
garlic powder to taste
3 basil leaves, chopped
1/4 t. black pepper
1 t. sea salt
6 oz lasagna noodles, broken into thirds and fully cooked
1/2 c. skim ricotta cheese
1/2 c. part skim mozzarella cheese
3 T. Parmesan cheese
2 T. parsley

1. Heat diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, basil, salt and pepper in large non stick skillet. Cook mixture until it is all heated up and thickened a bit -- about 5 minutes.

2. Add noodles to skillet and stir into mixture well. Add scoops of ricotta cheese over the noodles; add in mozzarella and Parmesan. Stir in parsley. Cook about 2 more minutes, or until mixture is thick and hot.

3. Serve immediately with hot, crusty bread and green salad.


Lasagna Soup
Serves 8


for the soup:
1-1/2 lbs ground beef
onion powder to taste
garlic powder to taste
2 t. dried oregano
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
2 T. tomato paste
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes -- can blend up part or all, if desired
2 bay leaves
6 c. chicken stock
8 oz. mafalda or fusilli pasta
1/2 c. finely chopped fresh basil leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

for the cheese mix:
8 oz. ricotta
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 t. salt
pinch of freshly ground pepper

have ready separate from the other cheese:
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese


1. Brown ground beef and add to a large pot. Add onion powder, garlic powder, oregano and red pepper flakes and cook over medium heat for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and stir well to incorporate. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the tomato paste turns a rusty brown color.

2. Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add uncooked pasta and cook until al dente. Do not over cook or let soup simmer for a long period of time at this point, or the pasta will get mushy. Stir in basil and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

3. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the cheese mix. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper.

4. To serve, place a dollop of the cheese mix in each soup bowl, sprinkle some of the mozzarella on top and ladle the hot soup over the cheese.

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