Love lasagna but need a recipe you can make on the stove top or in an unusual size pan? Or want a boat-friendly version that’s easy to eat underway?
Those are the times that I make “Mixed-Up Lasagna.” It uses rotini or other medium-sized pasta and is great in any size pan — even little individual cups. And it’s much easier to eat on a moving boat than the layers of traditional lasagna. Works really well as a make-ahead meal, too.
No, this is NOT one of my low-carb recipes!
- 1 pound rotini or other medium-size pasta, uncooked
- 1 pound ground beef ground turkey or bulk Italian sausage
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 24 ounces spaghetti sauce
- 8 ounces ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese shredded or grated
- 8 ounces shredded mozzarella
Cook the pasta according to package directions (typically about 7 minutes); drain. Place in a bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients.
- While pasta is cooking, crumble the ground beef and sauté it in the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until it is just brown.
- Drain any excess fat from meat and add meat to the bowl with pasta.
- Pour three-quarters of the spaghetti sauce over the pasta. Add the ricotta, breaking it up as you add it, and the Parmesan and half the mozzarella. Toss together.
- If you plan to heat the Mix-Up Lasagna in the oven aboard your boat, select a freezer-proof baking pan with a tightly fitting lid. If you will heat it on the stove or in the microwave, select a freezer-proof plastic food storage container with a locking lid. Either way, the container should be slightly larger than the volume of ingredients; you can also divide it into smaller portions if desired.
- Place the pasta and sauce mixture in the selected pan, then pour the remaining sauce over the top. Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella. Place lid on container.
- If you will eat the lasagna in the next two days, you can simply keep it refrigerated until time to heat it. To keep longer or if you will be keeping it in a cooler aboard the boat, it should be frozen.
- If possible, thaw the lasagna before heating it. If you are heating in the oven or microwave, it’s fine to start with it frozen but note that it will take approximately twice as long to heat.
Oven: Bake, uncovered, at 350° F. (no need to preheat oven) until the mozzarella is lightly browned, about 30 minutes.
Microwave: Loosen cover but leave in place to avoid spatters and heat on high for about 10 minutes, until mozzarella is melted. Microwaves vary tremendously in their power, particularly when running on an inverter, so time may vary considerably.
- Stove Top: Remove lasagna from refrigerator/freezer container and place in heavy saucepan or skillet. Cover and heat over medium-low to medium heat for 10 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until mozzarella is melted and sauce is bubbling. The mozzarella can scorch, particularly if your pan has any hot spots, so it’s best to use lower heat, stir frequently and keep a close eye on the pan.
Serve in bowls with a spoon.
Leftovers can be kept in a refrigerator for two days or refrozen for up to three months.
Vegetarian Version: Use spaghetti sauce with no meat added and use 8 ounces fresh or canned sliced mushrooms in place of meat (sauté the mushrooms for best flavor).