Lasagna. Layers of pasta, rich sauce, and cheesy goodness – all of my favourite things. One thing I can do without, though, is the tedious layering process of all the ingredients to get that perfect lasagna. When you come home from a long day at work or school, you need easy. More importantly, if you are a hangry girl like me who could do away with the layering, this easy skillet lasagna is just what you need.
Lasagna is commonly thought to be a special occasion meal, or something that you would have after an entire afternoon of making the perfect sauce and layers. I am here to tell you that while those dishes are great, they are no longer reserved for weekends or special occasions. In the time it takes for your oven to heat up, you will have this easy, cheesy skillet lasagna ready to go.
This recipe makes use of fresh lasagna sheets as opposed to the no-bake or dried versions that are available. By using fresh lasagna sheets, the cooking time is reduced significantly and there is no need to pre-boil the sheets. If you do not have fresh pasta sheets, you can of course use dry pasta, but keep in mind that this will increase the cooking time. In addition, I find that the texture of fresh pasta is better suited for this dish. In the end, he motto is work smart, not hard – especially for yummy weeknight meals.
Now to the contentious part – ricotta cheese versus bechamel sauce. From what I know, bechamel is traditional in lasagna, and luckily that tends to be my preference when I am making it. Many people do use ricotta cheese in their layered lasagnas, but my unpopular opinion is that well, I am not a fan.
If you haven’t made lasagna with bechamel sauce, I highly recommend trying it. It adds an additional silky, smooth, creamy layer that melts together perfectly with the cheese on top. Are you sold yet?
Easy Skillet LasagnaCourse: Mains
The lasagna we know and love, without the fuss of layering!
1 360g package of fresh lasagna sheets , cut vertically into four (think long strips)
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup mini bocconcini, torn
- For Meat Sauce
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
500g ground pork
1 red pepper, diced
1 1/2 cups cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
1 680mL bottle of tomato passata
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
- For Bechamel Sauce
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
2 cups milk
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, brown ground pork in olive oil. Break the pork apart as it cooks, until it is in crumbles. Add the onions and garlic, and continue to brown.
- Once the onions and garlic are browned and translucent, add the peppers and mushrooms. Let the mixture cook together for 5-7 minutes, until the peppers are starting to soften.
- Add the tomato passata and the spices to the skillet. Let the sauce simmer for 10-15 minutes. While the sauce is simmering, prepare the bechamel sauce.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour, and cook together for 2 minutes. Add the milk and let come to a simmer until thick, while stirring. Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg and remove from heat.
- Remove the meat sauce from the heat, and add the lasagna noodles that have been cut into strips. Toss the noodles with the sauce. Top the pasta with the bechamel sauce, and spread evenly over the top. Sprinkle with the shredded mozzarella cheese, and dot with the torn bocconcini cheese.
- Bake covered for 15 minutes, and uncovered for another 10 minutes. Broil on low for another 3-5 minutes until the cheese is brown. Try and let the lasagna set slightly before serving, but if you can’t, I do not blame you!