Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Cast Iron Skillet Lasagna

For the longest time I've wanted a cast iron skillet, but naturally have been putting off purchasing one.  Recently however, especially after stumbling upon so many delicious looking recipes on line, in addition to using my grandma's cast iron skillet, I finally decided to invest in one of my own.  Looking back now, I can't believe I didn't go out and purchase one sooner. For me, it's definitely been worth the investment and I can't wait to make more delicious meals using it.

So......onto food now.....

I've been meaning to post this recipe for quite some time, but sadly it got buried in my pile of things to post.  In my opinion though, better late then never, and this recipe is definitely worth sharing.  Enjoy!

Cast Iron Skillet Lasagna
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1 ½ cans (28 oz) whole peeled tomato, with juices
1 TBSP. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
¼- ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, more if desired
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1-1 ½ lb. Italian sausage, crumbled
10 lasagna noodles, broken into 2 inch sections (I use whole wheat noodles)
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
¾ cup ricotta cheese (I use part skim)
2 TBSP. fresh basil, minced (optional for garnish)

Place the tomatoes, in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped (or desired consistency is reached).

In a large cast iron skillet, set over a medium heat, add the oil.  Next, add the onion, salt, and some of the black pepper to the pan and sauté until the onion pieces have just had a chance to soften and turn a slight golden color.  This usually takes about 3-5 minutes.  Once that step is complete, add in the garlic, red pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning.  Stir around until just fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Place the Italian sausage into the skillet and occasionally stir around until no longer pink.  Once ready, evenly distribute the lasagna noodle pieces into the skillet and pour on top the chopped tomatoes and their juices.  Increase the heat to a medium high, and let vigorously simmer.  Make sure to stir often, and cook until the noodles are just tender.  This might take between 20-25 minutes.  (Feel free to reduce the heat if necessary to prevent the sauce from cooking over, it just might take a little longer.)

Turn on the broiler. 

Once the pasta is tender, remove the skillet from the stove then add in, and stir around, half of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, plus ¼ cup of the ricotta.  Once the cheese has been combined with the pasta, place the rest of the ricotta cheese in spoonful’s that are distributed sporadically across the top of the lasagna.  Sprinkle on the remaining shredded cheeses in an even layer and then place the skillet in the broiler until the cheese begin to bubble and turn a nice golden brown.  This should take about 5 minutes; it cooks quickly, so keep an eye on the dish!  Remove from the oven and garnish with parsley or basil.  Great served with a side salad or garlic bread!

Source: Annie's Eats


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