In the mood to cook dinner tonight? I’ve got you covered.
In the mood to not cook dinner whatsoever tonight? I’ve got you covered there too.
This summer we’ve managed to do one thing: eat a lot of fresh dinners. I’m talking a ton. Lots of tacos, lots of fish, lots of freshly grilled burgers (yes it counts) and even fruit. Granted I may have been eating by myself most nights… buuuut whatever. The point I’m trying to make is that this kitchen usually houses a good amount of comfort food – in the form of baked, cheesy casseroles and mashed potatoes and roast beef and pulled pork with gravy. And well, I think because it reached 10 million degrees (no, I will never stop exaggerating) by May… I just could barely fathom making a chicken pot pie or what not.
Until this week. This week I started craving something warm and homey and HOT. With cheese. Problem was… I still didn’t want to stand over the stove all day when it came time for dinner because, well… I stand over the stove all day to begin with. I just want to play. It’s summer! Playtime. And it’s flying by.
So I timed myself. I had the ingredients (no, not Rachael Ray-style, like all piled upon my face before I reached the counter or anything), grabbed them from the fridge and started doing my thing, hoping I’d be able to sneak this recipe inside of my 45-minute window before picking my mom up from the airport. I came in right under 30 minutes and even had time to inhale a bowl covered in parmesan cheese. Which just might have been one of the highlights of this summer and my little life.
What qualifies me to call this dish lasagna? Well… nothing. I’m not Italian, nor did I marry into any Italian, and while I’ve made some lasagna before, I’ll be the first to tell you that I buy my tomato sauce in a jar and pasta and bread are last on my list of indulgences. So let’s just chalk this whole dish up to pure ignorance – oh and of course my use of the signature wavy noodle – and call it a day.
So you CAN have a fast and easy hot hot hot dinner on this summer night… go fig.
Oh and it’s pretty healthy too… more room for ice cream. Gotta eat it now – summer is almost toast.
Yield: serves about 4
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
8 ounces whole wheat lasagna noodles, broken into thirds
1 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 sweet onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 pound 95% lean ground beef
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
3 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
8 fresh basil leaves, torn
parmesan cheese for grating
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Prepare water for pasta and bring to a boil. Season ground beef with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
Heat a large (mine was 12.5 inch) oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add in olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter, then toss in onions with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir and cook for 3-4 minutes, until soft. Add in garlic and cook for another minute, then add in ground beef, baking it apart with a spatula or wooden spoon. Cook until just browned, about 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. If there is excess liquid in the pan, feel free to drain a bit.
At this point your water should be boiling, so make sure to toss the broken noodles in and cook them for about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon or drain and set aside for a few minutes.
Once beef is browned, add in tomatoes with remaining butter and the 3 tablespoons of fresh basil, tossing well to coat. Add in broken noodles, using the spatula or spoon to fold the beef and sauce over the noodles. One noodles are evenly distributed and mostly under the sauce, add sliced mozzarella on top and scoops on ricotta. Bake for 10 minutes, then immediately remove and add torn basil on top. Serve!
[adapted from food network]
Um and… someone is eating ricotta now. This is major. What is going on? Is the world ending?