Lidia Bastianich's Shortcut Method Makes Weeknight Lasagna Easy

Lidia Bastianich had a tough time reining in her pseudo-sous chefs during a recent television appearance. The award-winning television host, restaurateur, and cookbook author stopped by "Today" to demonstrate her one-skillet lasagna. During the segment of the morning talk show, "Today" co-hosts Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush gave Bastiniach a run for her money, at one point leading her to declare, "These ladies are wild today." But it was all in good fun as the trio worked together on the simple weeknight lasagna recipe from Bastiniach's cookbook, "Lidia's a Pot, a Pan, and a Bowl: Simple Recipes for Perfect Meals: A Cookbook."

And simple it is. The dish came together in a flash. (Yes, there was some TV magic involved, but it's definitely a quick-prep meal). Here's what you'll need: marinara sauce, ricotta, mozzarella, Grana Padano, an egg, frozen peas, Italian parsley, peperoncino flakes, no-boil lasagna, olive oil, and kosher salt.

Lidia Bastianich doesn't frown upon store-bought sauce

Did you catch the first shortcut? No-boil lasagna. Bastianich simply layered sheets of lasagna on top of the marinara sauce in the skillet. Not a perfect fit? No problem. Just break the lasagna sheets into pieces that fit the skillet. The second shortcut caught us — and Kotb and Bush — by surprise. Bastianich, a beloved celebrity chef who's sometimes called "the queen of Italian cuisine" (via Detroit Free Press), declared during the "Today" segment that it's perfectly okay to use store-bought marinara. "To makes it even easier," she said while holding up a jar of marinara. "You can buy it."

While Kotb and Bush swooned over the one-skillet lasagna, Bastianich busily pulled another skillet out of the oven and placed it front-and-center on the table — we're calling this the third shortcut in an already simple meal plan — serve it straight from the skillet with a salad and bread. Dinner is served and clean-up is a breeze.