Skillet lasagna with an easy from-scratch tomato sauce you can make on a weeknight, promise

A Meatless Monday comfort food dream come true.

A Meatless Monday comfort food dream come true

(Photo: David Bagosy, Styling: Melissa Direnzo)

If a lasagna is ‘special occasion food’ in your house, we get it. A layered casserole of that kind, with its all-day, from-scratch sauce is the stuff of Sunday cooking. Our cravings do not care about our busy, busy lives, however. They want what they want and they want lasagna almost as much as Garfield did. This skillet lasagna — a downright delicious dinner in its own right and far more than a holdover — is your way to work lasagna into its rightful place, which is on the table any night you want it. Make this everyday tomato sauce whenever you must have some tagliatelle on Tuesday too.

Skillet Lasagna with an Easy Everyday Tomato Sauce

By Josie Malevich

Use this simple tomato sauce for pastas, pizzas, Chicken Parmesan or try it with this Saucy Skillet Lasagna. It’s a comforting weekday meal that’s quick and easy.


Easy Everyday Tomato Sauce:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • Pinch hot pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste, preferably from a tube
  • 1 jar (680 mL) strained and pureed tomatoes (passata)
  • 1 plum tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh torn basil

Saucy Skillet Lasagna:

  • 9 lasagna noodles, broken into thirds
  • 2 cups Easy Everyday Tomato Sauce
  • ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¾ cup ricotta
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 2 tbsp fresh torn basil


Easy Everyday Tomato Sauce:

Heat the oil in a saucepan or high-sided skillet set over medium heat. Cook the garlic and hot pepper flakes until golden and fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Cook for 1 minute.

Stir in the jarred and fresh tomatoes, and the salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until the flavours marry and the sauce has thickened slightly, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the basil leaves. This sauce will have a fresh and tangy tomato flavour.  For thicker, richer and sweeter tomato sauce, cook for 1 to 2 hours.

Saucy Skillet Lasagna:

Preheat the broiler on your oven with the rack in the middle position. Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to the package directions; drain reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta water.

Bring the sauce to a boil in 10-inch ovenproof skillet. Toss in the lasagna noodles, the reserved pasta water and the Parmesan. Dot with ricotta and sprinkle with mozzarella.

Broil for 3 to 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Sprinkle with basil. 

Alternatively, toss noodles with pasta water and cold Easy Everyday Tomato Sauce. Layer with ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan in oiled 10-inch skillet or baking dish. Cover with foil. Bake in a preheated 425F degree oven for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake until golden brown and bubbling, about 10 to 15 minutes. 

Yield: Makes about 2 ¾ cups of tomato sauce and 4 servings of lasagna

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