1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound meatloaf mix (ground beef, pork and veal)
10 lasagna noodles, broken into 2-inch pieces
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Add the diced tomatoes along with their juice to a 1 quart (4 cup) measuring cup. Add enough water to bring the volume to 1 quart total.
Set a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and add the oil. When it starts to shimmer, add the onion and the salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onion begins to brown, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and red pepper and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the meat, using a wooden spoon to break it apart. Cook until the meat is browned.
Add the broken noodles to the pan, but do not stir - just let them sit on top of the onion/meat mixture. Pour the tomato/water mixture and the tomato sauce over the noodles (again, don't stir). Cover the pan and bring the liquid to a simmer. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, now stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender (about 20 minutes).
Turn off the heat under the pan. Stir in 1/2 cup of the Parmesan and season to taste with salt and pepper. Drop the ricotta by heaping spoonfuls onto the top of the lasagna (don't stir to incorporate), then cover and let stand for about 5 minutes to allow the cheese to soften. Remove the cover and sprinkle with the basil and remaining Parmesan, then serve.