Skillet Lasagna2As the season's evenings grow cooler boaters will be looking for heartier galley meals to extend their boating season.  This skillet lasagna hits all of the highlights; it is easy to make, the flavour is top notch, hearty enough to add some heat to a cool evening on board and the one dish feature makes clean up easy.

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

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.

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Recipe Courtesy Boston Globe