The Lasagna Recipe That's a Total 5 P.M. Lifesaver

A trick for not going crazy when dinnertime rolls around: Have a few tried-and-true recipes under your belt. Here, cooking pros Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion, authors of the new cookbook Keepers, share their go-to. Add a salad and bread and you're done. REDBOOK.

Skillet lasagnaSkillet lasagna

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb sweet or hot Italian sausages, casings removed
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
Large pinch of hot red pepper flakes
1 tsp dried oregano
2 (28-oz) cans whole peeled tomatoes
1 sprig basil, plus a handful of basil leaves
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 (9-oz) package no-boil lasagna noodles
4 oz mascarpone cheese or cream cheese (½ cup)
½ lb fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced, patted dry

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1. In a large, high-sided sauté pan with a 3-quart capacity and a lid, heat oil on high until it shimmers. Add sausages and cook, breaking up the meat, until browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer sausage to a medium bowl; set aside.

2. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add onion, garlic, and pepper flakes and cook until onions are softened, about 7 minutes. Add oregano, tomatoes and their juices (crushing the tomatoes with your hands), the basil sprig, and cooked sausage and any juices. Season with salt and pepper, then gently simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check the seasoning (it should be a little salty) and discard the basil sprig.

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3. Break half of the lasagna noodles in half crosswise and push each piece into the sauce under the sausage, distributing them evenly throughout the pan. Break remaining noodles in half and distribute them evenly over the sauce; push down on them with the back of a spoon to submerge. Cover pan, raise heat, and gently simmer until noodles are tender and sauce has thickened slightly, about 12 minutes.

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4. Dollop mascarpone over lasagna and swirl into sauce. Top with mozzarella and continue to simmer, covered, until cheese is melted, about 2 minutes. Turn off heat; top with basil leaves. Let lasagna rest, uncovered, 10 minutes, then serve.

Makes 6 servings. Each serving: 577 cal, 33 g fat, 23 g protein, 45 g carb.

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