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Whole Wheat Skillet Lasagna and Escarole Salad


  • Salt

  • 1 pound whole-wheat gemelli or cassarecci

  • 5-6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided

  • 1/4 pound pancetta, chopped

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin

  • 1 bay leaf

  • Ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated

  • 1 onion, grated

  • 4 cloves garlic, grated

  • 4 sprigs rosemary, leaves finely chopped

  • 1 cup beef stock

  • 1 can Italian tomatoes 28 ounces

  • 2 cups ricotta cheese

  • 1 ball smoked mozzarella, thinly sliced

  • 2 heads escarole, cleaned and dried, coarsely chopped

  • 1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced

  • 2 lemons, juiced


Heat a pot of water for pasta, season with salt and cook pasta to al dente.

Pre-heat the oven to 450°F or pre-heat the broiler.

While pasta water comes to a boil, heat 2 tablespoons EVOO in a high sided skillet over medium-high to high heat. When the oil smokes, add the pancetta, sirloin and bay leaf and caramelize the meat, 5-6 minutes, season with salt, pepper and allspice. Add grated vegetables and garlic, rosemary. Cook 7-8 minutes, stir in stock. Add tomatoes and break up with a spoon. Drain pasta and add to sauce then stir in ricotta.

Top pasta with a layer of mozzarella and place in oven. Cook 5 minutes to melt and bubble mozzarella.

Dress the escarole and onions with the lemon juice and 3-4 tablespoons EVOO, season the salad with salt and pepper.