Got this in an email from America's Test Kitchen, from their new book "The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook"
- 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1⁄8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 lb meatloaf mix (ground beef, and 8 ounces ground pork. for spicier flavour increase the amount of red pepper flakes )
- 8 ounces curly-edged lasagna noodles, broken into 2-inch lengths (10)
- 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 ounce parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
- 8 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese (about 1 cup)
- 1⁄4 cup minced fresh basil
- Pour the tomatoes with their juice into a quart measuring cup. Add enough water to the tomatoes to measure 4 cups.
- Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the meatloaf mix and cook, breaking up the meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle the noodle pieces evenly over the meat. Pour the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce over the pasta. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender, about 20 minutes. (The sauce should look watery after 15 minutes of cooking. If dry, add up to 1/4 cup additional water to loosen the sauce.).
- Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dot heaping tablespoons of the ricotta over the noodles. Cover the skillet and let stand off the heat for 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle with the basil and serve, passing the extra Parmesan separately.
I got this recipe from a friend years ago. I make it a lot and its a family pleaser. I do add extra tomato sauce, noodles, Italian seasoning. I also add extra veggies like diced carrots, mushrooms, zucchini, and bell pepper.
I'm so glad that I made a couple of tweaks, or I think this would have been rather bland. I used 3 Italian sausages and 1/2 pound of ground beef (since I didn't have ground pork). I ended up liking the texture of the sausage. I increased the red pepper flakes to 1/2 teaspoon and added one tablespoon of Italian seasoning (my own blend of dried rosemary, marjoram, oregano and parsley that I keep on hand). I felt the mixture was too soupy once I cooked the noodles for an extra ten minutes, so I covered the skillet and carefully drained out the excess liquid. I also added a blend of four cheese (provolone, fontina, asiagno and Parmesan) and broiled it for 3 minutes-- my family loved it!
You really can't mess this up, and can tweak it the way you like it. Great for worknight dinner and always taste great. Fresh Basil and adding mozzerella is definitely better, tho. Thank you.