Sunday, August 11, 2013

Skillet Lasagna

By the 1300's dried pasta was very popular for its nutrition and long shelf life, making it ideal for long ship voyages. Pasta made it around the globe during the voyages of discovery a century later. By that time different shapes of pasta have appeared and new technology made pasta easier to make. 

With these innovations pasta truly became a part of Italian life. However the next big advancement in the history of pasta would not come until the 19th century when pasta and tomatoes met.

Tomatoes were brought back to Europe shortly after their discovery in the New World, it took a long time for the plant to be considered edible. In fact tomatoes are a member of the nightshade family and rumors of tomatoes being poisonous continued in parts of Europe and its colonies until the mid-19th century. Therefore it was not until 1839 that the first pasta recipe with tomatoes was documented. However, shortly thereafter tomatoes took hold, especially in the south of Italy. The rest of course is delicious history.

Pasta today... it is estimated that Italians eat over sixty pounds of pasta per person, per year easily beating Americans, who eat about twenty pounds per person. This love of pasta in Italy far outstrips the large durum wheat production of the country; therefore Italy must import most of the wheat it uses for pasta. Today pasta is everywhere and can be found in dried pasta secca and fresh pasta fresca varieties depending on what the recipe calls for. The main problem with pasta today is the use of mass production to fill a huge worldwide demand. And while pasta is made everywhere the product from Italy keeps to time tested production methods that create superior pasta. 
Research Source: Life in Italy

No oven needed, just a few ingredients and your stovetop is all you need to cook our tasty Skillet Lasagna.

Skillet Lasagna
Copyrighted 2013, Christine’s Pantry. All rights reserved.

1 pound ground beef
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 1/2 cup water
4 uncooked lasagna noodles, broken into pieces
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Cook ground beef over medium high heat, add salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Crumble meat, cook until no longer pink. Add onions, bell peppers and pinch of salt, stir and cook for 2 minutes.

Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and Italian seasoning, stir. Add water and noodles, stir, and bring to boil, reduce heat simmer for 10 minutes, until noodles are tender. Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Enjoy!


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