For the jarred tomato sauce I like marinara, but you can use whatever type you like. Any brand of curly-edged lasagna noodles will work here, but do not use no-boil lasagna noodles. If the pasta is especially dry and shattery, you may need to add extra water to the skillet while the pasta cooks. If you can’t find meatloaf mix, us ½ pound 85 percent lean ground beef and ½ pound ground pork. Like it spicy? Increase the amount of red pepper flakes up to 1 teaspoon. To make things go even quicker, you can replace the mozzarella and Parmesan with ¾ cup of shredded Italian cheese blend.
• 1-pound meatloaf mix
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
• Salt and ground black pepper
• 6 ounces curly-edged lasagna noodles (8 noodles), broken into 2-inch pieces
• 1 (26-ounce) jar tomato sauce, such as marinara (about 3 cups)
• 2 cups water
• ½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
• ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
• ¾ cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
• ¼ cup minced fresh basil
Mince the garlic and measure out the pasta while the meat cooks.
1. Cook and drain meat: Cook meat in 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat, breaking it into pieces with wooden spoon, until fat renders, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain meat and return it to skillet.
2. Sauté aromatics: Stir in garlic, pepper flakes, and ½ teaspoon salt and cook over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
3. Simmer lasagna noodles: Sprinkle broken noodles into skillet, then pour in tomato sauce and water over top. Cover and cook, stirring often and adjusting heat as needed to maintain vigorous simmer, until noodles are tender, about 20 minutes.
4. Add Cheese: Off heat, stir in half of mozzarella and half of Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Dot heaping teaspoons of ricotta over noodles, then sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover and let stand off heat until cheeses melt, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle with basil before serving.