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Test drives

February 6, 2012

January is past as is Groundhog Day and I haven’t even said Happy New Year to you.  Holy smokes – have you missed me?

Most of my cooking and trying new recipes is done on the weekend, but for the last couple of months Mike and I have been test driving living in the city on weekends.  I know weekend city living probably doesn’t give us a real taste daily city life, we’re having a great time and have made the commitment to move in the next couple of months.

The cooking problem, or lack of my keeping in contact here, stems from having minimal kitchen items at my disposal on the weekends – we’ve only brought necessities to the condo.  I did finally bring an All-Clad skillet down, something that can be used on the stove top and in the oven.  Before that I was limited to one stove top pot and things I could cook in the microwave or broil on a sheet of foil.  Let me tell you, those parameters lead to some pretty interesting meals.  Don’t even get me started about the day I realized I didn’t have a can opener, a cheese grater or a bottle opener.  Off to the market we went to pick up some inexpensive items that really are a part of daily life, whether test driving a new home or not.

So, on a night where the weather looked like this:

I thought it was the perfect evening to make this skillet lasagna because the cooking is all done in one pan.

Skillet Lasagna
Adapted from Martha Stewart Everyday Food

12 to 16 oz bag fresh baby spinach
1 – 28 oz can tomato puree
1 – 15 oz can diced tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese, room temperature
1 box (12 ounces) no-boil lasagna noodles
1-1/2 cup shredded mozzarella or italian blend cheeses
1/4 cup grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Rinse the spinach well in cold water to make sure it’s very clean.  Add 1 to 2 tbsp water to a large deep skillet and add about 1/3 to 1/2 of the fresh spinach, tossing to wilt.  As the spinach wilts, add more to the pan until all the spinach in wilted.  Drain into a colander and squeeze out as much excess water as possible.  Set aside to cool slightly.

In the same skillet, bring tomatoes, garlic, and oil to a boil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Reduce to a simmer and cook on medium until thickened.  You should have 5 cups marinara sauce.

Combine the cooled spinach with ricotta and set aside.

Pour sauce into a heat proof bowl and return  3/4 cup to skillet, spreading to cover the bottom.  Add a single layer of noodles, breaking them up to fit.  Spread half of the ricotta mixture over the top, followed by half the shredded mozzarella and 1/3 of the remaining sauce.  Repeat your layers – noodles; ricotta mixture; mozzarella and 1/2 of the remaining sauce.  Top with a final layer of noodles and the remaining sauce.  remaining sauce.  Sprinkle mozzarella and pecorino over top.

Bake lasagna until golden and bubbling, 40 – 45 minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Barry permalink
    February 7, 2012 7:46 am

    Well, Happy New Year to the Tasting angel!!!

  2. February 6, 2012 7:56 pm

    Great angel!! And the lasagna looks good too, perfect for a cold day!

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