TIP OF THE DAY: Lasagna Hack, Chicken Parm Hack
We count ourselves among the lasagna lovers who eagerly order it at restaurants but don’t have the energy to make it at home.
We found a great hacks in Ravioli Lasagna, where sheets of ravioli are layered in between the cheese.
(Since it’s the first day of fall, here are recipes for Pumpkin Lasagna and Pumpkin Ravioli Lasagna.)
Today’s hack is simply a pasta bake with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and parmesan: the ingredients of lasagna in an easy-to-throw-together dish.
You can use any “short cut” of pasta, from:
This recipe, which was contributed to the DeLallo recipe archive by Love & Olive Oil, adds chicken breasts as protein. If you don’t want the chicken, adapt the recipe to pasta only.
But chicken turns it into a different hommage recipe: Chicken Parmesan.
Americans say their favorite Italian food is Chicken Parm, and March 11th is National Chicken Parm Day.
> Check out all the types of pasta in our Pasta Glossary.
Ingredients For 8 Servings
1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 3-quart casserole dish with cooking spray.
2. BRING a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile…
3. HEAT the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the onion is softened and fragrant.
4. ADD the tomato purée and bring the mixture to a simmer. Add the chicken and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly and the chicken is just cooked through. Stir in the fresh basil and season generously with salt and pepper. Meanwhile…
5. COOK the pasta in boiling water until it is not quite al dente (subtract 2-3 minutes from the cooking time listed on the package). Reserve a cup of the pasta water before draining the pasta.
6. USE a large slotted spoon to strain pasta and transfer it to the sauce. Add a few splashes of pasta water and stir until the pasta is evenly coated with sauce.
7. TRANSFER half of the pasta to the prepared casserole dish, spreading it into an even layer. Sprinkle with half of the mozzarella and half of the parmesan cheese. Top with the remaining pasta, followed by the rest of the cheese.
8. SPRINKLE with the breadcrumbs and Italian herb seasoning. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the pasta is heated through*. If desired, broil for 2 to 3 minutes at the very end until the cheese is browned in spots. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
*If your pasta was cool or cold when you put it in the oven—for example, if you made the pasta ahead of time and refrigerated it overnight—it will likely need more time.