Make Perfect Harissa-Lamb Skillet Lasagna With This 'Mad Genius' Tip
Lasagna is kind of the ultimate comfort food—the cheese! the carbs! the béchamel sauce, if you're a purist—and the quintessential way to feed a crowd (just add a giant arugula salad and some garlic bread). But it's also pretty tedious to make, between prepping the fillings, layering the noodles, and, finally, baking it. That's why Food & Wine's culinary director Justin Chapple created a recipe for fast, weeknight-friendly lasagna—lamb and harissa lasagna, specifically—that you can make in a skillet (ideally, one that's about 12 to 14 inches—the deeper the better).
Chapple starts by coating his skillet with olive oil, browning about a pound of ground lamb, transferring it to a bowl, and then using the leftover fat from the meat to sauté an onion and three garlic cloves. Things get interesting when those aromatics get hit with two tablespoons of harissa paste, followed by six cups of spinach. (Important note here: use adult spinach, not baby spinach—it'll be too watery.)
Rather than painstakingly arranging his lasagna noodles, Chapple snaps them into one-inch pieces and tosses them in the pan (it'll feel wrong, but go with it). Then they get coated in three cups of marinara sauce, as well as two cups of the secret ingredient—chicken stock! Yes, it's not super common in lasagna recipes, but it instantly dials up the richness (the noodles absorb its flavor as they cook).
The ground lamb then rejoins the party, everything is brought down to a simmer, the skillet gets covered, and ten minutes later it gets a little stir. Ten minutes after that, it's ready for some dollops of ricotta cheese and about half a cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, sprinkled on top. Wait three minutes until the cheese is hot and bubbly, add some chopped fresh parsley on top, go over the whole dish with a bit of cracked pepper (and more of that Parmigiano-Reggiano), and you're done. The whole thing takes less than an hour.