I'm such a sucker for food that looks like that. I can't even remember exactly how I found this recipe, but the photo stopped my browsing fingers cold. This recipe comes to us from the The Food Network Kitchens, which, honestly, tend to be pretty reliably good. I don't know about you, but I'm a little over the Food Network programming. They just lost me as a viewer when they sat around that big conference table and decided that we out here in the real world really don't like to cook. We don't want to be in our kitchens and we don't want to spend more than $3 on dinner. So let's just entertain them. Oh, for crying out loud. I will still watch Jamie Oliver whenever, wherever he shows up. But I digress...
The Food Kitchens (who are they?) do turn out some tasty recipes and this one is AWESOME!! Who knew that you could assemble a lasagna in a pan on top of your stove, put on the lid and create something that may just be better than a traditional oven-baked one. This one comes out super moist and flavorful. Experience informs me that although it says "skillet" in the title, you really need to use a braiser kind of pan which is just a little deeper than a traditional skillet.
The recipe calls for 2 lbs of fresh, chopped tomatoes (which were great!), but canned tomatoes would, of course, be good here too. Also, use mozarella if you don't have fontina. I just love the flavors that the fontina and asiago cheeses brought to this party. And add Italian sausage or other vegies if you want. This can be just a starting point for your own creative lasagna moment. The original recipe calls for the no-bake lasagna noodles, but I used traditional lasagna noodles, boiled and drained. I think the no-boil noodles might have a tendency to absorb the sauce and dry it out. Bon apetit!
Adapted from Food Network Magazine
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 pounds ripe tomatoes, diced
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 ½ cups ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
8 sheets lasagna noodles, cooked according to the package directions
1 pkg frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 cup grated fontina cheese
1 cup grated asiago cheese
Heat the olive oil in a 10 inch oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until golden, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, 3 tablespoons of the chopped basil, 1/2 of the chopped parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste; cook until saucy, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender and puree.
Meanwhile, mix the ricotta, egg, parmesan, the remaining chopped parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste in a bowl. Cut the lasagna noodles roughly to fit the pan.
Pour 1 cup of the sauce in the skillet and place over low heat. Place 4 lasagna noodles over the sauce in the skillet (it’s OK to overlap a little). Spread with 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the spinach and top that with 1/3 of the asiago/fontina cheese. Repeat the layers, ending with tomato sauce and sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese. Cover and simmer until heated through and the cheese melts, 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove the lid and place the whole thing under the broiler for about 5 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with the remaining basil and let rest for a few minutes before slicing.