Lately, dinner in my house has been gluten free skillet lasagna, probably about once a week. Not only is it quicker than assembling a traditional lasagna (no boiling the noodles!), but simmering everything together on the stovetop makes the flavors more intense and the sauce nice and thick. Plus you can make extra quick work of the whole dinner by making my recipe for the best tomato sauce ahead of time, and using it to replace the sauce ingredients here.
I happen to have a nice, big 12-inch covered skillet, but I've also made the whole thing in a smaller but deeper Dutch oven and it comes out great. If anyone complains about the presentation, send them to me for a talking-to. My 12-inch covered skillet is quite a nice one, if you're in the market. It's Food Network brand, from Kohl's. It distributes heat very evenly and has really nice, high sides plus a great cover. And like everything else at Kohl's, it's often on sale—plus I always use coupons. :)
The ingredients are so simple (sauce, noodles, cheese), but the flavors are so intense that your family won't even believe that it's “just” lasagna. And you'll love not having to boil the noodles. Oh, and speaking of noodles…
Should we talk about gluten free lasagna noodle brands? As far as I know, there are only 3 available gluten free lasagna noodle brands: De Boles, Tinkyada and Jovial. I have tried all 3. I like De Boles the best, but it tends to be less available and more expensive than Tinkyada, which I also like pretty well. I do not care for the Jovial noodles at all, so I never use them. To make skillet lasagna, I almost always soak the noodles while I make the sauce. But I have made the dish without soaking the noodles, and although I might have to cook everything for a bit longer to soften them, it always comes out just fine. Now if Barilla would just come out with a gluten free lasagna noodle, I'd be all set.
Gluten Free Skillet Lasagna
10 ounces dried gluten free lasagna noodles (I have used Tinkyada brand and De Boles brand), broken into irregular shards
2 tablespoons (28 g) extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 cup shredded carrots (from about 2 medium carrots)
3 ounces tomato paste
1 28-ounce can tomato puree (or whole peeled tomatoes, pureed in a blender with their juices)*
1 pound (16 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
1 egg (60 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for sprinkling on top
1 pound (16 ounces) part-skim mozzarella cheese, grated
*Make Ahead Option: To make extra-quick work of this recipe, make The Best Tomato Sauce recipe ahead of time (either halve the sauce recipe, or just store half of the recipe for another time), and use it in place of the olive oil, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, basil, oregano, tomato paste and puree in this recipe. Simmer the shredded carrots in the sauce before proceeding with the recipe.
Soak the noodles. In a large bowl, place the broken lasagna noodles and cover with warm tap water. Set aside to soak.
Cook the sauce. In a 12-inch skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the diced onion, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the minced garlic, and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is fragrant and the onion is softened and translucent (about 3 minutes more). Add the salt, pepper, and basil, and mix to combine. Press the oregano into the palm of one hand with the fingertips of the other to release its oils, and add to the skillet. Add the shredded carrots, and cook until softened (about 3 minutes), stirring frequently. Add the tomato paste and tomato puree, and whisk to combine. Remove the skillet from the heat. Transfer about 2/3 of the tomato sauce mixture to a medium-sized bowl, and set it aside.
In a small bowl, place the ricotta cheese, egg and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and mix to combine. Set the mixture aside. Drain the water from the broken lasagna noodles, and set aside.
Assemble the lasagna. In the 12-inch skillet, on top of the remaining tomato sauce, scatter about 1/3 of the soaked lasagna noodles, then about 1/3 of the ricotta mixture, and 1/3 of the grated mozzarella cheese. Cover with half of the remaining sauce, then half of the remaining lasagna noodles, half of the remaining ricotta mixture, and half of the remaining grated mozzarella. Repeat with the rest of the ingredients.
Cook the lasagna. Cover the skillet and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until the noodles are cooked and tender and the cheese is melted (10 to 15 minutes). Remove from the heat, uncover, sprinkle with more Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and serve hot.