Pairs Well With
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound meatloaf mix (see note below)
10 curly-edged lasagna noodles (8 ounces), broken into 2-inch lengths
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup), plus extra for serving
8 ounces whole-milk ricotta cheese (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup minced fresh basil
See notes below.
Pour the tomatoes with their juice into a quart measuring cup. Add enough water to the tomatoes to measure 4 cups.
Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the meatloaf mix and cook, breaking up the meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
Sprinkle the noodle pieces evenly over the meat. Pour the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce over the pasta. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender, about 20 minutes. (The sauce should look watery after 15 minutes of cooking. If dry, add up to 1⁄4 cup additional water to loosen the sauce.)
Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in 1⁄2 cup Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dot heaping tablespoons of the ricotta over the noodles. Cover the skillet and let stand off the heat for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the basil and serve, passing the extra Parmesan separately.
Notes: Any brand of curly-edged lasagna noodles will work here. Do not use no-boil lasagna noodles. If the pasta is especially dry and prone to shattering, you may need to add extra water to the skillet while the pasta cooks. If you can’t find meatloaf mix, use 8 ounces (85 percent lean) ground beef and 8 ounces ground pork. Like it spicy? Increase the amount of red pepper flakes to 1 teaspoon but watch out-I like less than this amount.