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Recipe for skillet lasagna

Serves 4

2tablespoons olive oil
1pound sweet or hot Italian sausages, casings removed
1small yellow onion, finely chopped
4cloves garlic, finely chopped
Large pinch of crushed red pepper
1teaspoon dried oregano
2cans (28 ounces each) whole, peeled tomatoes, crushed in a bowl
Handful fresh basil sprigs
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1package (9 ounces) no-boil lasagna noodles
4ounces mascarpone cheese or cream cheese
½pound fresh mozzarella, patted dry and thinly sliced

1. In a large high-sided skillet with a 3-quart capacity and a lid, heat the oil over high heat until it shimmers. Add the sausages and cook, stirring often, breaking up the meat, for 4 minutes, or until browned. Transfer the sausages to a bowl, leaving as much oil in the skillet as possible.

2. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the onion, garlic, and red pepper to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes, or until the onion softens. Add the oregano, tomatoes and their juices, 1 sprig of basil, salt, black pepper, and the cooked sausage with any juices in the bowl. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning, add more salt and pepper, if you like, and discard the basil.

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3. Break half of the lasagna noodles in half crosswise (it’s OK if smaller pieces break off) and as you do so, push each piece into the sauce under the sausage, distributing them evenly throughout the pan. Break the remaining half of the noodles in half and distribute them evenly over the sauce, then push down on them with the back of a spoon to submerge them. Cover the pan and simmer gently, raising the heat a little, if necessary, for 12 minutes or until the noodles are tender and the sauce has thickened slightly.

4. Spoon the mascarpone or cream cheese over the lasagna in dollops and swirl it into the sauce. Top with the mozzarella and recover the pan. Simmer gently for 2 minutes or until the cheese melts.

5. Remove from the heat and top with basil leaves, tearing any large ones. Let the lasagna rest, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Adapted from “Keepers”

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