Lasagna is usually too labor-intensive to bother with during the week. With this version, though, you can sit down to dinner after just the time it would normally take to bake the lasagna.
Being made on the stovetop, this version is not layered; instead, it substitutes farfalle for the customary long, flat pasta. But all the traditional flavors -- tomato-based sauce, meat and three cheeses in addition to the pasta -- are still here. Italian sausage is robust, but turkey sausage makes an acceptable substitute.
- 8 ounces flat, dried pasta
- 1/3 pound Italian sausage or turkey sausage (sweet or hot), casings removed
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1 small zucchini, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can (14 ounces) no-salt-added tomato sauce
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup (1 ounce) part-skim mozzarella cheese, grated
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until it is just barely done and still firm; do not overcook. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the sausage, breaking up the clumps with a spoon, about 3 minutes. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the zucchini and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Drain off the fat. Stir in the tomato sauce, oregano, basil and thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes.
In a medium bowl, mix the three cheeses, parsley, egg and more black pepper to taste. Add the cheese mixture and the pasta to the skillet. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Adapted from "Mom's Best One-Dish Suppers," by Andrea Chesman (Storey Publishing, 2005).
Tested by Marcia Kramer.
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