One day I am going to be a great meal planner. At this current time however I am not so great at it. Every now and then I plan a week of meals and I only have to take one trip to the grocery store. But then there are weeks like last one where I find myself on the couch at 5pm on Friday evening not sure of what we are going to eat for dinner. I loaded the kids up in the car after browsing through my Test Kitchen cookbook and got what I needed for this quick one skillet dinner. It was ready by 7pm, it was a huge hit and a recipe that I will definitely be making again.
In this skillet lasagna you have all the goodness of lasagna without all the work of layering and dirtying several dishes. The recipe calls for broken lasagna noodles, but you could use penne or ziti if that’s what you have around. I used Italian turkey sausage, but a mixture of ground beef and pork is what is called for in the original recipe. I added a few ounces of goat cheese to the ricotta because I don’t think that there is a thing on this earth that couldn’t use some goat cheese goodness. I layered some mozzarella slices on top of the finished dish and broiled it for a few minutes. I think when you serve lasagna there should be strings of cheese stretching from pan to plate, so this ensures that will happen. Top it all off with some fresh chopped basil and you have a super delicious and satisfying dinner that is ready in less than an hour. I realize it’s no 30-minute meal, but it sure does take less time than a proper lasagna!
Serve this with lots of good bread and a green salad for a complete meal, and one that will make everyone very happy.
8 ounces of lasagna noodles, broken into 2 inch pieces
1/2 cup grated Parmesan + more for serving
8 ounces part-skim ricotta
3 ounces goat choose
8-10 slices of fresh mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
Pour the tomatoes into a quart measuring cup and fill with water to make 4 cups. Set aside.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt.
Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add in the turkey and cook, breaking the meat up into pieces, until meat is cooked through and no longer pink.
Pour in the tomatoes and tomato sauce and stir to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Add in the noodles and stir to combine. Press the noodles down into the sauce so that they are covered and then cover the skillet. Bring the sauce to a simmer and then reduce heat to medium low and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In a small bowl stir the ricotta with the goat cheese, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Set aside.
Preheat your broiler.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the Parmesan. Use a large spoon to dot the top of the skillet with the ricotta mixture, then lay the mozzarella slices on top.
Place the skillet under the broiler until the cheese begins to brown. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the basil.
This week was going to be a busy one. With every other night but Monday being packed with some event, I wanted something to make for dinner on Monday night that would create good leftovers for the week and be quick to reheat. Lasagna it would be. And because I like to try new recipes, I tried this one.
It was OK, but Ben agreed that I have a better white lasagna recipe that I’ll probably stick to for now. This artichoke and mushroom lasagna is pretty spectacular. You can add chicken to it if you want to, but it doesn’t need it. It is a great vegetarian dinner option. I’ve made it for a few guests before and everyone seems to like it…or they’re just being nice!
Anyway, there were some great things about this lasagna. Melted in to the béchamel sauce is a creamy herb cheese that gives a great lively flavor. I made the mistake of trying to use 2% milk instead of whole milk in the béchamel, leaving it pretty runny even after baking. I’m not entirely sure it was just a milk problem, though. When I’ve made béchamel sauce in the past I’ve always made a butter and flour paste before adding the milk. This recipe didn’t call for any flour. I ended up adding some when I saw how thin the sauce was, but it didn’t solve the problem. So, I made some changes to the recipe below to help others avoid the runny béchamel.
Another change I would make it to cut the chicken into smaller pieces. I might even suggest shredding it. The pieces were just a little too big to get a good combination of noodle, mushroom, spinach, chicken and sauce in one bite.
The flavors are wonderful, and I like the combination of ingredients. I skimped on some of the cheese since I have often found lasagnas a bit too heavy on the cheese, but I might have skimped too much since the layers didn’t hold together well. It’s hard to tell what this would have been like if the béchamel had been thicker. It may not need more cheese…but then again it may. I don’t know for sure. I would guess that a thicker sauce would mean the same amount of cheese listed would be fine. But if you like cheese or you just don’t trust me, add more.
It can be a meat lovers delight, a vegetarians dream, or you can combine your meat and veggies and create an omnivores dilemma! Get it? Anyway…I know Sarah does.
It can be made with a red pasta sauce, a creamy white bechamel, or a fresh basil pesto sauce, and others.
It can be prepared in advance, frozen and baked later.
It can feed a crowd, or it can feed a couple for days and days!
It can be enjoyed warm with oozing cheese, or cold from the fridge.
I love lasagna. This lasagna is a delicious veggie combination of mushrooms and artichokes in a rich bechamel sauce. Ben and I really enjoyed it, and brought a plate to our neighbor who also was pretty complimentary of the dish. The only criticism he gave was that it should have had a garnish of cilantro instead of parsley. He puts cilantro on everything. I think he might eat it on his cereal…
My iPhone is incredible. Epicurious has an app that I just love. I am able to search for a recipe while at the grocery store, get a shopping list, email the recipe to myself and have it waiting for me when I get home to cook. Modern technology is one of my best friends. That is how I found this recipe. Here is the link. I made a few changes to the recipe based on the time I had to make this meal and what I had at home. I used canned artichoke hearts instead of frozen since I did not have time to let them thaw. I also used regular lasagna noodles because I had some in the pantry. I used shredded mozzarella instead of sliced. I substituted vermouth with dry white wine that I had left over from another recipe. Despite the substitutions this lasagna was delicious and we enjoyed it for a few days. It was great reheated, and cold as well. This is something I would make again and serve at a dinner party or bring to a pot-luck.
Mushroom and Artichoke Lasagna
Bon Appetit, February 2002
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans of artichoke hearts, drained, coarsely chopped
1 package lasagna noodles, prepared according to package directions to al dente
1 pound (4 cups) part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and garlic; sauté until mushrooms release juices and begin to brown, about 7 minutes. Add artichokes and wine. Cook until liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
For béchamel sauce:
Melt butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour; stir 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until sauce thickens and lightly coats spoon, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Stir in 1 1/2 cups Parmesan. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and ground nutmeg.
Spread 2/3 cup béchamel sauce over bottom of 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Top with enough noodles to cover bottom of dish. Spread 1/4 of artichoke mixture over. Spoon 2/3 cup béchamel sauce over. Top béchamel with 1/4 of mozzarella.
Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons Parmesan. Top with enough noodles to cover. Repeat layering 3 more times, finishing with a layer of noodles, then remaining béchamel. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover with foil and refrigerate.)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake lasagna covered with foil 1 hour (or 1 hour 15 minutes if chilled). Remove foil. Increase temperature to 450°F. Bake lasagna until golden on top, about 10 minutes longer.