Rach's skillet lasagna was inspired by the 20th anniversary of the hit show "The Sopranos."
"It very well could have made one of their episodes, Rach says. "It's easier to make than a traditional lasagna. Equally delicious, and you can serve it right from the skillet."
- 1 pound frozen spinach, defrosted
- 2 cups fresh ricotta, sheep or cow's milk
- About ½ cup grated parm (Parmigiano-Reggiano or Parmesan)
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
- About ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- About 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 pound curly-edge lasagne dry pasta
- 1 jar tomato passata, purée or sauce (3 cups)
- 1 cup beef bone broth or stock
- One 14-ounce can Italian cherry tomatoes or diced tomatoes
- A few leaves of basil, torn
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 pound ground beef or plant-based ground beef product
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano or marjoram (⅓ palmful)
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
- ½ pound sweet Italian sausage or plant-based substitute
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- About ½ cup red wine
- About 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Heat a large pot of water to boil for the pasta.
Preheat oven to 425˚F.
Place spinach in a kitchen cloth and wring out all excess liquid. Add spinach to a mixing bowl with ricotta, Parm, salt and pepper, thyme, nutmeg and lemon zest.
Salt pasta water when it comes to a full rolling boil and cook pasta 6 minutes, then rinse under cold water to shock, and drain well or arrange on kitchen towel.
In a mixing bowl, combine passata, broth or stock, canned tomatoes, basil and about 1 tablespoon EVOO.
Heat a cast-iron skillet, 12 inches, over medium-high heat, and add EVOO, 2 turns of the pan. Add onions and stir a couple of minutes, then add beef or plant-based equivalent, crumble, and season with salt, pepper, oregano or marjoram, and chili flakes, if using. Add sausage or plant-based equivalent and brown and crumble, then add garlic and stir another minute or 2. Add wine and let it absorb. Remove the mixture to another bowl and add half the tomato mixture to it to combine.
To the same skillet, off the heat, add half of your remaining tomato sauce, arrange a layer of lasagne, cutting or tearing as needed to layer in evenly. Top with half the meat, then half the spinach and ricotta and ⅓ of the mozzarella; top with an identical layer. Top the pan with remaining pasta, remaining tomato sauce and mozzarella and bake 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes, then cut and serve from pan.