Lasagna. Layers of pasta, rich sauce, and cheesy goodness - all of my favourite things. One thing I can do without 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, this easy cheesy skillet lasagna is just what you need.
I get it. Lasagna takes a long time to make, and we usually associate it with special occasions. I am here to tell you that you can definitely eat lasagna on a weeknight, or at the very least, not just on a special occasion! In the time it takes for your oven to heat up, you will have this easy, cheesy skillet lasagna ready to go.
Fresh Lasagna Noodles versus Dry Noodles
This lasagna is made with fresh lasagna sheets instead of the dried version. Fresh lasagna sheets, reduces the cooking time, 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.
Ditch the Ricotta - Meet Bechamel!
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.
Try This With...
Easy Cheesy Skillet Lasagna
- 360 g package of fresh lasagna sheets cut vertically into four (think long strips)
- ¾ cup mozzarella cheese shredded ?
- ½ cup mini bocconcini torn
For the Meat Sauce
- 1 onion diced?
- 4 cloves garlic minced?
- 500 g ground pork
- 1 red pepper diced ?
- 1 ½ cups cremini mushrooms finely chopped ?
- 1 680 mL bottle of tomato passata ?
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 ½ tsp red chilli flakes
For the Bechamel Sauce
- 3 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp flour
- 2 cups milk
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Make the Meat Sauce: 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.
- Make the Bechamel: 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. ?
- Assemble the Lasagna: 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 the Lasagna: 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!