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Lasagna Skillet

Light and healthy lasagna is possible with this one-pan dinner recipe.

Lasagna may be a tasty meal, but it often feels very heavy and can take several hours to come together. However, you can spend less time cooking and still have an Italian feast on the table for dinner tonight. This one pan meal keeps the basics—delicious noodles, sauce and cheese—but brings the ingredients together on your stove top.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound sweet or hot Italian sausages, casings removed
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Large pinch of hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 28-ounce cans whole, peeled tomatoes
  • 1 sprig basil, plus a handful of basil leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 9-ounce package no-boil lasagna noodles (they aren't all 9-ounce, so be sure to check)
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese or cream cheese  
  • 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced and patted dry

In a large high-sided saute pan with a 3-quart capacity and a lid, heat the oil over high heat until it shimmers. Add the sausages and cook, stirring often and breaking up the meat, until browned, about 4 minutes. Leaving as much oil in the pan as possible, transfer the sausage to a medium bowl and set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the onions, garlic and pepper flakes to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened, about 7 minutes. Add tomatoes and their juices, crushing the tomatoes with your hands or a potato masher. Then stir in oregano, sprig of basil, and the cooked sausage and any juices. Season with salt and pepper, then gently simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check the seasonings (it should be a little salty) and discard the basil sprig.

Move the skillet off heat. Break half of the lasagna noodles in half crosswise (it’s fine if smaller pieces break off) and as you do so, push each piece into the sauce under the sausage, distributing them evenly throughout the pan. Use an extra noodle to nudge them under, while leaving a little cushion of sauce beneath them, so they don't stick to the bottom and burn.

Break the remaining half of the noodles in half and distribute them evenly over the sauce. Push down on them with the back of a spoon to submerge them. Move the skillet back over heat, cover the pan and gently simmer (raising the heat a little, if needed) until the noodles are tender and the sauce has thickened slightly, about 12 minutes.

Dollop the mascarpone over the lasagna and swirl it into the sauce. Top with the mozzarella and gently simmer, covered, until the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes. Off the heat, top with the basil leaves, tearing any large ones. Let the lasagna rest, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, then serve.

Editor's note: Canned tomatoes can vary—if it’s really soupy, you can let the liquid boil off a little more. If it’s looking dry, add a little water.

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