Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
Serves: 4 to 6
Meatloaf mix is a combination of ground beef, pork, and veal, sold pre-packaged in many supermarkets. If it's unavailable, use ground beef. Use a 12-inch nonstick skillet with a tight-fitting lid for this recipe.
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion , minced
3 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound meatloaf mix
10 curly-edged lasagna noodles , broken into 2-inch lengths
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus 2 additional tablespoons
Ground black pepper
1 cup ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1. Pour tomatoes with their juices into 1-quart liquid measuring cup. Add water until mixture measures 1 quart.
2. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add ground meat and cook, breaking apart meat, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes.
3. Scatter pasta over meat but do not stir. Pour diced tomatoes with juices and tomato sauce over pasta. Cover and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender, about 20 minutes.
4. Remove skillet from heat and stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Dot with heaping tablespoons ricotta, cover, and let stand off heat for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with basil and remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Serve.