While many folks scramble for an edge piece, I’m usually the contrarian who opts for the gooey center. In a tray of brownies, I want the near pudding-like consistency of the middlemost piece. I dive right into the syrupy center of a piping-hot fruit cobbler.
The exception to the rule, however, is when cheese and pasta come into play. I always go for the almost-crunchy corner of ziti, the crusty piece of breadcrumbs and lacy cheese in baked macaroni, and, of course, the crisp, golden brown edge piece in a tray of lasagna.
In this Spicy Skillet Lasagna With Ricotta and Spinach, with its beautifully furled, rolled-up noodles, every serving is like a delightful edge piece from a traditional layered lasagna. Instead of baking lasagna sheets flat in a pan, associate food editor Rachel Gurjar opts for rolling the wavy noodles into pinwheels before arranging them in a skillet. After they’re smothered with a spicy homemade tomato sauce (more on that later) and a shower of Parmesan and baked, the ruffled tops of each sheet of pasta get that crave-worthy, crisp, baked-in cheesiness I'm always seeking.
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Like any great lasagna, it’s a labor of love—but it's worth the final reveal. It starts with a homemade tomato sauce that's seasoned with plenty of red pepper flakes as well as a pinch of cumin. As a generally vegetarian-leaning person, I loved skipping the meat in this recipe and rolling up the thin slices of zucchini into each noodle. But, if you’re craving something heftier, you could easily add browned ground beef or turkey to the tomato sauce.
Apart from the sauce, the next most important component is, arguably, the cheese: Instead of a traditional béchamel, this skillet lasagna gets ricotta that's blitzed in the food processor with Parmesan until it’s whipped and airy. Combine it with a spoonful of grated mozzarella and you get a melty, cheesy center in each roll-up, as well as a perfect cheese pull moment when you dive in with your fork.
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This recipe is now my unwavering go-to whenever I’m looking for a crowd-pleasing meal that won’t result in any unnecessary squabbles. There are enough edge pieces to go around!
Will It Skillet?