Friday, January 28, 2011

Skillet Lasagna

One of my favorite Christmas gifts I received this year was a cast iron skillet. I have been wanting one for awhile, so I had several dishes in mind that I wanted to try.  So far I have used it to make jalepeno cornbread, crab cakes, seared salmon and skillet potatoes/hash browns, all which were delicious.

My most recent experiment using my cast iron skillet was veggie lasagna.  When I first heard about this, I thought that the lasagna would be assembled in the skillet and then baked in the oven just like a regular lasagna, but that's not the case.  The cool thing is that the lasagna gets assembled in the skillet while it is on the burner and then stays there until it's cooked through.  The result was a fabulous tasting lasagna in about half the time.  
I did look at a couple recipes before doing this, mostly for technique, but as far as measurements and ingredients used, I did not follow a specific recipe. 

What you will need:
Sauce - I used a jar of low country tomato sauce from my sister in Charleston.  It's so good and adds so much flavor, but homemade or any jarred sauce will do.
Cheese - I used ricotta, parm and asiago, but mozzerella would obviously work too.
Noodles - You may use pre-boiled noodles, but I only had regular ones, so I soaked them in hot water before adding.
Veggies - I had asparagus, mushrooms and kale on hand, but any veggies would do, just make sure you par-cook them first if needed (I sauteed the mushrooms and asparagus but put in the chopped kale raw and it worked fine).

Place skilled over medium heat, add a layer of sauce, then noodles, then cheese mixture (15oz ricotta, 1 egg, parm, salt and pepper), then veggies.  Repeat layers until you get to the last set of noodles - top those with sauce and your melting cheese - in this case, asiago.  Cover and simmer lasagna on stove top for about 20 minutes.  For the last 5 minutes, take cover off and place under broiler so the top gets crispy and brown. 

It would be best to let this sit about 10 minutes before cutting into, but as usual, we could not wait a minute longer to start digging in.  I bet the leftovers will be even better!

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