Lasagna for dummies. Only 1 dish, 30 minutes of preparation, and full of flavor! Read more for a step by step process on how to get this Italian favorite to your table…
Before my stepmom introduced me to the wonders of a cast iron skillet, I never dreamed of dealing with the fuss of making lasagna as a week night meal. Previously when thinking of this hearty Italian dish, I thought a meal with as many players as an NFL football team seemed like a daunting and time consuming task. In addition to the multiple ingredients, they are all prepared in a different manner… boiling the noodles in a pot, cooking the meat in a pan, baking in a dish… before you know it, a tornado has swept through the kitchen.
Although a fair amount of contributors are still used to make the lasagna, I have cheated in many ways to make this a no fuss meal while maintaining rich flavor. Only one dish is used and the prep will take 30 minutes or less! The secret to this meal is the “no boiling required” lasagna sheets. Barilla makes some and they can be found at any major grocery store. See my instructions below on lasagna for dummies… no worries, I’m still a lasagna dummy but somehow everyone is more than pleased when it hits the table. Worried that its too much food to cook for 1 person? I make this all the time when my husband leaves town… cook once and have dinner for three nights!I listed the step by step process and wine pairing below. Look for your “go to” grocery guide of ingredients at the end. Cheers!
1. In a medium cast iron skillet, heat the stove to medium heat. Cook the Italian sausage in a coating of olive oil with the lid on. Turn the sausage every few minutes and take off when browned – 10 to 15 minutes. Chop the sausage into small pieces.
2. In the same pan, add 1 small chopped white onion and 1 tbsp minced garlic. Saute for about 5 minutes and add back the sausage pieces. Season with salt and pepper and continue to do so for each layer. Pour half a 20 oz can of crushed tomatoes, 1/4 cup red wine, 1 tbsp fresh oregano, and season with salt and pepper over the veggie/meat mixture.
3. Layer lasagna sheets over sauce, meat, and onions. Break sheets to fit in pan and only put down one layer.
4. Lay sliced zucchini rounds over the lasagna sheets. Take a 12oz tub of ricotta mixed with chopped basil and 1/4 cup parmesan and spread over zucchini.
5. Put one more layer of lasagna sheets on top. Pour rest of crushed tomato and 1 more tbsp oregano.
6. Spread fresh mozzarella on top and grate fresh parmesan. Put lid on and lower to medium low heat. Cook for about 25 minutes. If sauce starts to bubble over, spoon some of it out of the pan.
Wine Pairing: Laila Rosso Piceno. This wine consists of 80% Sangiovese and 20% Montepulciano. With flavors of black cherry and spice from the Montepulciano, this blend has a little more depth than straight Sangiovese. Pairs wonderfully with a red sauce and a richer meat like sausage.
- 1 lb Italian sausage(regular or spicy depending on preference)
- 1 small white onion chopped
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 20 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 cup dry red wine (whatever you’re drinking that night)
- Barilla ”no boiling required” lasagna noodles
- 1 large zucchini chopped into thin rounds
- 1 12 oz tub ricotta cheese
- 2 tbsp Fresh oregano
- 2 tbsp fresh basil
- Fresh mozzarella sliced, enough to cover dish
- 1/2 cup fresh parmesan – used to mix with ricotta and to spread over top
- salt & pepper
- olive oil to coat skillet