Friday, December 11, 2009

a crock of Lasagna

What's for dinner...leftover lasagna...

Last night My Beau and I had a rare night out...

(my Beau and I all fancied up for the Christmas Party) I made dinner really easy for the sitter, I made lasagna in the crock pot earlier that day...

(if you don't know me you might not know that I HEART my crock pot!) all the sitter had to do was butter the French Bread and serve! This recipe makes WAY more than my family would ever eat in one sitting, and the kids loved it so we are having it as "first's" for My Beau and I, and as leftovers for the kids!

this is the recipe as I received it from a friend (I think it was Kelly Jackson?)
Crock Pot Lasagna
1 lb ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (29 oz) can tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1 pkg (8oz) no-cook lasagna noodles**
4 cups (16 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
1½ cups (12oz) small-curd cottage cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a skillet, cook beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.  Add the tomato sauce, water, tomato paste, salt and oregano; mix well.
In another bowl mix together 2 cups of mozzarella, cottage cheese and Parmesan cheese.  Spread 1/4 of the meat sauce in an ungreased 5 quart slow cooker.  Arrange a third of the noodles over sauce (break the noodles). spread 1/3 of the cheese mixture on top of noodles  Repeat layers three times.  Top with remaining meat sauce, and extra mozzarella.  Cover and cook on low for 4/5 hours or until noodles are tender.  Yields 6-8 servings.


Changes I made
*only used 1/2 lb of ground beef
*didn't have the large can of tomato sauce so used 3 sm 8 oz jars-plenty
*I grate my garlic on the really fine side of the cheese grater, no more big chunks of garlic, and all the flavor.
*didn't have the no-cook noodles so I boiled the reg ones for 1/2 the time, drained and rinsed them
*added 1 cup of chopped fresh spinach to the cottage cheese mixture
*added 1 egg to the cottage cheese mixture

Changes I didn't make but you might like to...
*Italian sausage along with the beef or to replace the beef
*ground turkey, which I find dry, but in dishes with lots of sauce the dryness isn't a big deal
*leaving the meat out all together and making it vegetarian
*using 2 cups mozzarella and 2 cups cheddar
*using rocotta cheese rather than cottage cheese
*using manicotti noodles rather than lasagna

**Trader Joes has the no-cook lasagna noodles for cheaper and twice as many WinCo carries pick up a box next time you run in for some Candy Cane Joe Joe's (Oreos) and Sea Salt Carmels (YUMMY)!

Serving suggestions-I always think pasta dishes have it all, the starch, the meat, the veggies...but if you want to serve it with something, butter up some french bread (I like to keep an extra loaf in the freezer), and grate some garlic onto it and a little cheese...broil until it's as done as you like.  Add a good hearty salad and you're more than done!

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