Wow, I’m pooped! I don’t know how a 2-hour Get Smart birthday party for a nine-year-old could be so tiring, but I am wiped out. The boys decoded messages, climbed though “lasers,” shot Nerf darts at targets and each other, went on a mission to free some Junior Mints, sang “Happy Birthday,” and ate cake. We had a full two-hours, and the boys had fun (at least I hope so).
After a full day, I was glad to have lasagna in the crock-pot for dinner. Yes, I did say “lasagna in the crock-pot.” This is one of my favorite crock-pot recipes, but when I first found the recipe, I didn’t believe you could cook lasagna in a crock-pot. I imagined a wet mass of noodles and sauce, but I tried the recipe anyway. I’m glad I did, because instead of a wet mass, I had beautifully cooked lasagna I could prepare in the morning and forget about until dinner.
I adapted this Crock-Pot Lasagna from a recipe I found on allrecipes.com. I think of this recipe as a technique rather than a true recipe. This lasagna would be delicious with Italian sausage or ricotta cheese, but I don’t change the recipe because, frankly, my kids like it this way and will eat it. If you do change the recipe, just make sure you have enough liquid in the sauce. The noodles tend to turn gummy if you do not add enough liquid.
Adapted from allrecipes.com
1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
43.5 ounces of tomato sauce (29 ounce can and 14.5 ounce can)
1 6 ounce can tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oregano
1 pound package lasagna noodles
12 ounces cottage cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
16 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
In a large skillet, cook beef, onion and garlic until meat is browned and onion is tender. Add the tomato paste, tomato sauce, salt and oregano. Cook until heated through. In a large bowl, stir together the mozzarella, cottage cheese, and Parmesan cheese.
In a 5-quart crock-pot, spoon a layer sauce on the bottom. Add a double layer of uncooked noodles (break the noodles to fit into the crock-pot), and top the noodles with cheese mixture. Repeat the layers of sauce, noodles and cheese until all ingredients are used. I end with sauce.
Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Serves 10.