Lasagna terrifies me.
No, not eating it. Cooking it.
My entire adult cooking career I’ve heard horror stories of people’s lasagna attempts gone wrong, and I’ve just stayed away in order to retain my “decent cook” status. But I’ve always been secretly jealous of the ladies that create perfectly layered meat and cheesy goodness masterpieces.
A few weeks ago, I came across a recipe for Slow Cooker Lasagna. Now, when it comes to slow cooking, I’m pretty adventurous, and willing to try about anything. But lasagna?? Really?? I pictured a big tomato-y, soup like mess. So the past few weeks as I walked the grocery store aisles, I’ve looked longingly at the lasagna noodles, and resigned myself to the fact that my days of lasagna enjoyment will be confined to eating at Olive Garden, TJ’s on the Avenue, or Mama Roberto’s.
Until yesterday. Yesterday I got all bold and bought the noodles, ricotta cheese- the whole nine yards! Must have been a lake-effect snow induced insanity.
Anyhow, I got up this morning and had lost my confidence. What if I create an oooey, gooey disaster of a dinner? So I waited until lunchtime, and finally talked myself into getting started.
Here’s the recipe I based my concoction on : – but I varied a few things. I used ground turkey instead of beef (cuts down on the grease, I used about 1 and 1/3 lbs), and I substituted ricotta cheese (15 oz) for the cottage cheese and used a bit more parmesan and mozzarella, too. I also used 2 jars of marinara sauce instead of the tomato sauce and paste. Instead of fresh garlic and onion, I used my Tastefully Simple Onion Onion and Garlic Garlic seasonings.
I mixed just enough sauce with the meat mixture (meat, seasonings) to saturate. I greased the crock pot with a bit of EVOO in order to prevent sticking. I then layered – meat mixture, noodles, sauce (just enough to fully cover noodles), cheese mixture, noodles, sauce, then repeat, ending with noodles. I dumped the remainder of the sauce on top, covered, and cooked on Low for 2 hours and then High for 2 hours.
I didn’t touch it- didn’t even LOOK at it, until 20 mins before I served it. But I sat at my desk in my office and was convinced I was making lasagna stew.
Dinner time rolled around, I opened the lid, and low and behold – perfection! I had made lasagna (in the crock pot, none the less, and I hadn’t ruined it. **pats self on back**
Jon & Jaidin gobbled it up, and there are leftovers (bonus!)
Here are pics so I have evidence this actually happened (in case the Crock Pot gods simply smiled upon me today and I’m never able to re-create this phenomenon)