This flavor-packed puree isn’t just good for you: It’s based on a recipe from the Algonquin Hotel in New York City, where writers of the 1920s...
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped fine
Salt and pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound meatloaf mix
10 curly edged lasagna noodles,
broken into 2-inch lengths
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup), plus 2 tablespoons, grated
1 cup (8 ounces) whole-milk
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Serves 4 to 6
Place tomatoes and their juice in 4-cup liquid measuring cup.
Add water until mixture measures 4 cups.
Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering.
Add onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes.
Stir in garlic and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add meatloaf mix and cook, breaking up meat into small pieces with wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes.
Scatter noodles over meat but don’t stir. Pour tomato mixture and tomato sauce over noodles, cover and bring to simmer.
Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until noodles are tender, about 20 minutes. If the noodles seem especially dry, you may need to add extra water to the skillet while the pasta cooks.
Stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan (off the heat) and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Dollop heaping tablespoons of ricotta over top, cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
Sprinkle with basil and remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan and serve.
Spicy: Increase the amount of pepper flakes to 1 teaspoon.
Sausage and red bell pepper: Substitute 1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed, for meatloaf mix. Add 1 chopped red bell pepper to skillet with onion.
• Don’t use no-boil noodles in this recipe.
• You can substitute part-skim ricotta in this recipe, but don’t use nonfat ricotta, which has a very dry texture and bland flavor.
• If meatloaf mix isn’t available, use 8 ounces each of ground pork and 85 percent lean ground beef.
Source: Adapted from 100 Recipes: The Absolute Best Ways to Make the True Essentials from America’s Test Kitchen — everyday recipes, updated with innovative, kitchen-tested techniques.
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