Friday, September 25, 2009

Skillet Lasagna Take 1

I just finished the leftovers from last night and I am so on the fence about this recipe. I think it is in need of some serious tweaking. But it does have potential. I found it on Food Network online while looking for something else. I liked their picture so I figured I would give it a shot. Skillet Lasagna
courtesy of the Food Network
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, diced
4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil and/or parsley, plus more for garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 large egg
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
6 sheets no-bake lasagna noodles
1 carrot, peeled into ribbons
1 zucchini, peeled into ribbons
3 1/2 cups baby spinach
1/3 pound mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
Heat the 1/4 cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the garlic; cook until golden, 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes, 1 tablespoon herbs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste; cook until saucy, about 5 minutes.
Transfer to a blender and puree.
Return 1 cup of the sauce to the skillet and reduce the heat to low; reserve the remaining sauce.
Meanwhile, mix the ricotta, egg, parmesan, the remaining 3 tablespoons herbs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste in a bowl.
Place 2 lasagna noodles over the sauce in the skillet.
Layer half of the carrot and zucchini on top; drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Cover with half of the spinach, half of the ricotta mixture, a few pieces of mozzarella and 2 to 3 tablespoons of the reserved tomato sauce.
Repeat the layers, ending with noodles.
Top with the remaining sauce and mozzarella.
Cover and simmer until the lasagna is cooked and the cheese melts, 20 to 25 minutes.
Let rest for a few minutes before slicing. Garnish with more parmesan and fresh herbs.

in the skillet

VERDICT and my thoughts

Its amazing anything come out OK in my house. I am such a bone-head sometimes and need to actually read things!!!! I just realized it said to end with noodles and top with sauce and cheese. I only used 4 noodles because I missed that like 5 times. Ooopsie!

Let me go through all my thoughts. 1-I didn't want to make the sauce because its a pain. But it was very tasty. I think you could easily get away with using a higher quality jar sauce, or canned tomato. I don't think the tomatoes are very flavorful right now so you might be better off using canned. I also found it quite annoying to have to dirty my blender. I tried to use my handy hand blender but it didn't work and I was afraid for my pan. Some had commented in the original recipe there wasn't enough sauce but I didn't find that to be the case. It had good flavor so maybe I need to not be so whiny. 2-Some of the prep should be done ahead of time. Ribbon the Veggies and wash your spinach before you start. I had the pasta in the pan and then realized I hadn't prepped this stuff so I was scrambling. So do this before you start. I LOVED the addition of the carrot and zucchini ribbons and will be stealing this idea. 3-You could add some meat to this recipe. I was thinking either slices of meatballs laid on the layers or some ground beef/turkey. Then it would be a complete meal all in one skillet. It would add time to the prep though.

My final verdict. I liked this recipe. I don't know if I loved it. I make lots of lasagnas, some full on boil noodle and all that jazz and some no boil noodles. I thought this didn't save all that much time to the pan & bake version so I don't know if I am so impressed with it. I will try it again making some of my changes and see if I will replace my quick style lasagna pan & bake. I did love all the veggies and think that has given me some inspiration. They hide extremely well and perfect for little toddlers who think they are anti-veggie. Although my boy did loved them raw and kept begging me for veggie ribbons and cheese so I might serve him veggie ribbons more often. I just don't know.....let me know what you think

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