a virgin foray into skillet lasagna
i’m not going to pretend that i’m in any way a competent cook, but at the very least i can whisk, fry, toss my heart out while exploring any of the bazillion recipes that are now at my disposal at america’s test kitchen. these posts are purely for my own personal edification and inroads (baby steps) toward kitchen can-do-itude.
tonight’s dinner was based on the recipe from skillet summer vegetable lasagna, originally published in 30-minute suppers, summer 2010. i’ll admit these are not truly 30-minute meals (unless viewed purely in terms of active cooking time); at least for me, prep takes at least 10-15 more minutes and you have to account for any one of a million shiny objects that’ll vie for your attention in the meantime.
basically, you saute some onions and garlic, add in broken pieces of lasagna noodle, simmer it with liquid and tomatoes, and then toss in vegetables; basil and ricotta add brightness and richness, respectively. and yes, your eyes do not deceive you: christine is making a meatless dish by choice. call the authorities.
let it be known that breaking up dry lasagna noodles by hand is one of the most single addictive actions, right up there with bubblewrap popping. they shatter like glass in your fingers, with a frighteningly terrific sound. instead of using zucchini and squash as directed in the recipe, i subbed in broccoli (which i had on hand) and this trippy purple asparagus i found at whole foods; also, i had to add more water near the end since the mix looked a bit dry. the addition of fresh basil and ricotta cheese at the end makes it all worth it (i probably will put that dashing duo in everything, ever). with fondness for the pho ritual of tearing up thai basil with one’s hands at the table and, well, a little bit of laziness, i tore — rather than shredded — the leaves.
i clocked in at 13 minutes prep; cooking commenced at 8:40pm and it was ready to serve at 9:15pm. i will definitely use the torn-up noodles bit down the line — it’s kind of like a poor man’s pappardelle. which makes makes me very pleased, since i am a little bit of everything in that last sentence.