But you have writing to get to, you don't want to read about my escapades. By the way, how are you coming on Speedbo? Are you keeping up? Have you surpassed your goals?
Today's recipe is one I stumbled across over a decade ago. Until then, I rarely made lasagna because it was too involved--making the sauce, boiling the noodles...oy! But this recipe is so easy, it's apt to turn lasagna into a frequent dinner guest.
- 1 lb. ground beef (you can also use sweet Italian sausage and forgo the seasonings)
- 1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
- red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 - 24 ounce (or there abouts) jar spaghetti sauce (I used Ragu garden combination)
- 1/2 cup water
- 8 lasagna noodles, uncooked
- 1 - 15 oz container cottage or ricotta cheese
- 1/4-1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
Cook beef and Italian seasoning in a large skillet until beef crumbles. I added a pinch of salt, some ground black pepper, and a dash or two of red pepper flakes (I'm looking for flavor, not heat). If you're using sweet Italian sausage, simply remove from the casings (if necessary) and cook until crumbled, no other seasonings needed.
Combine spaghetti sauce and water in a bowl or measuring cup.
Lightly coat the inside of your Crock Pot with cooking spray, then place 4 UNCOOKED--yes, you read that right--noodles in the bottom. Depending on the shape of your pot, you'll likely need to break them a bit to cover the bottom.
Now cover them with half of your meat mixture and half of your sauce mixture. Spread your ricotta or cottage cheese over that. I'm not a fan of ricotta, so I use the cottage cheese. For a little extra flavor, you can stir some freshly grated Parmesan into the cottege cheese before spreading.
Sprinkle with 1 cup of the mozzarella.
Then it's the rest of the noodles, meat, sauce, and the rest of the mozzarella.
Put the lid on and cook on HIGH for 1 hour. Reduce your heat and cook on LOW for 5 more hours.
Just look at the ooey, gooeyness. Add a slice of garlic bread and we're talking heaven.
And what's not to like about that?