Saturday, November 7, 2015

Slow Cooker Sausage Lasagna

with Natalie Lochwin

Today we want to take a look at an easy and delicious way to make one of the world's great comfort foods. This is preparing a family sized lasagna in your slow cooker.

Making lasagna in the slow cooker has the advantage of not simply being one of the easiest ways to make it, but as with many slow cooker recipes once you have put the dish together it simply cooks away quietly in the background until ready.

First you need to make the sauce. While ground beef or pork can be used, here we are going to make the lasagna with sausage, which adds both a different flavour and texture.

Take 4-6 uncooked Italian style sausages ( we used the "hot" variety to add a very slight kick to the dish) and brown them in olive oil for about 5 minutes a side.

Remove from the saucepan and slice them up into small pieces. Meanwhile, chop up one medium sized onion. Combine the chopped sausage and onion and add back to the saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat in olive oil -- breaking up the sausage with your spatula as you go -- until the sausage is fully cooked and the onion golden. This will take around 5-7 minutes.

When the sausage and onion is ready, you want to add 2 large (650 ml.) jars of an Italian tomato based pasta sauce. Pick your sauce wisely as they can add considerable flavour. We would suggest slightly more premium brands like Classico. We used a jar of a Roasted Garlic and Onion blend and a jar of a Spinach and Cheese blend.

You can, of course, use whatever brand and style you want.

Mix the onion, sausage and sauce together adding about a tablespoon of Italian seasoning.

In a separate mixing bowl blend together 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese, 1 cup of ricotta cheese and 1 cup of Parmesan cheese. Grate another cup of mozzarella and set aside in the fridge.

In the slow cooker put 1/4 of the sauce across the bottom. Top this with a layer of uncooked lasagna noodles. DO NOT USE OVEN READY! They will overcook. Break the noodles up so that they fit.

Break up uncooked noodles to fit
Top this with another quarter of the sauce and spread half of the cheese on top of this. Put down another layer of the noodles and again top with 1/4 of the sauce and the other half of the cheese.  Finally top with one last layer of the noodles and the last 1/4 of the sauce.

Set the slow cooker to low and cook for 4-6 hours.

With 10 minutes to go until the cooking is complete, turn off the slow cooker, remove the lid, and top the lasagna evenly  with the other cup of grated mozzarella cheese. Put the lid back on and let sit for 10 minutes or until the cheese on top is fully melted.

Serve directly from the slow cooker.
Layers of sauce and cheese

This dish goes perfectly with red wine, crusty traditional style bread and is an especially big hit with kids!


See also: Clay Baked Lasagna

See also: Slow Cooked Curried Goat Stew

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