Made in the slow cooker, this lasagna is a wonderful soothing combination of soft noodles and warm cheese blended with a robust tomato sauce.
- Lightly greased stoneware
- Large (approx. 5 quart) oval slow cooker
- 2 tbsp olive oil 25 mL
- 1 lb lean ground beef 500 mL
- 8 oz Italian sausage, removed from casings 250 g
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp dried Italian seasoning 15 mL
- 1 tsp salt 5 mL
- 1 tsp cracked black peppercorns 5 mL
- 1 cup dry red wine 250 mL
- 1 can (28 oz/796 mL) tomatoes with juice, coarsely chopped
- 2 cups ricotta cheese 500 mL
- 1 egg yolk
- 1⁄2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg 2 mL
- 12 oven-ready lasagna noodles 12
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella 500 mL
- 1⁄2 cup finely grated Parmesan 125 mL
- 1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add ground beef, sausage, onions, celery and carrot and cook, stirring, until meat is no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and peppercorns and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add wine, bring to a boil and boil, stirring and scraping up brown bits on bottom of pan, for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes with juice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes to meld flavors. Remove from heat and set aside.
- 2. In a bowl, combine ricotta, egg yolk and nutmeg. Using your hands, mix well and set aside.
- 3. Spread one-quarter of meat sauce over bottom of prepared stoneware. Cover with 4 noodles, breaking to fit where necessary. Spread with a thin layer of meat sauce, half the ricotta mixture and one-third each of the Parmesan and mozzarella. Repeat. Arrange final layer of noodles over cheeses. Pour remaining sauce over top and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.
- 4. Place a clean tea towel, folded in half (so you will have 2 layers), over top of stoneware to absorb moisture. Cover and cook on Low for 5 to 6 hours or on High for 21⁄2 to 3 hours, until hot and bubbly.
- Be aware that the cooking times are general estimates. Cooking times vary substantially among slow cookers and lasagna seems particularly sensitive to overcooking in the slow cooker. Begin checking this recipe after the food has cooked for 5 hours on Low or 21⁄2 hours on High.
- Make Ahead
- Complete Step 1. Cover mixture, ensuring it cools promptly (see Making Ahead, page 17), and refrigerate for up to 2 days. When you're ready to cook, complete the recipe.
Judith Finlayson http://judithfinlayson.com/