Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Slow-Cooker Lasagna

Almost everything in the area was shut down today for the blizzard, so the hubby and I were both at home. One of us was still able to work, while the other played DragonQuest on the Nintendo DS. I’ll let you guess who did what.

I was hungry for lasagna today but didn’t have much time for assembly, nor did I have any fresh mozzarella on hand. And I NEED fresh mozzarella in my lasagna. Like a fish needs water.

So I decided to assemble my lasagna in the slow cooker. It’s a bit easier to throw together, and it could just cook away all day while the hubby and I worked and completed heroic missions.

All in all, the lasagna was quite good. It didn’t have the same texture as traditional lasagna – and was decidedly less structured – but still had the same flavor. Although the next time I make this, I’m still using the fresh mozzarella.

My life was so empty before I discovered fresh mozzarella.

Slow-Cooker Lasagna
Serves 8-10

1 lb. hamburger
Salt, pepper, onion salt, and garlic salt
2 26-oz. jars spaghetti sauce
1 22-oz. container cottage cheese
1/3 c. grated parmesan cheese
1 egg
½ tsp. dried oregano
8-10 lasagna noodles (uncooked)
2 c. shredded mozzarella or 8 oz. sliced fresh mozzarella

1. Brown hamburger over medium-high heat, seasoning with salt, pepper, onion salt, and garlic salt. Add spaghetti sauce and heat through.

2. Meanwhile, combine cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, egg, and dried oregano.

Speaking of my favorite red bowls, here’s a nice little feel-good tidbit. So I got these Zak bowls for Christmas from my dear mom, and I love them. Plus, they’re eco-friendly. About a month ago, a freak accident occurred. I was getting a cookie container out of the pantry cupboard, and a Rubbermaid cake container fell off the top shelf, bounced off my head, and knocked my nested bowls off the counter. (Yes, that old excuse.) And one of the bowls shattered on the floor.

I bawled. For like an hour. And attempted to find a replacement bowl online. No dice, you can only buy the set. So I contacted the company and asked if I could purchase a single replacement bowl, as mine was lying on the ceramic tile in several pieces.

The representative asked for my address, and sent me a brand-new replacement SET of bowls. Free of charge. Because she felt bad. Isn’t that the nicest thing ever?

But I digress. Where was I? Ah, right. Lasagna.

3. Ladle about a cup of sauce on the bottom of the slow cooker, and top with 1/3 the noodles. (You’ll probably have to break them and arrange them awkwardly; it’s freeform art.) Top with 1/3 the remaining sauce, ½ the cottage cheese, and 1 c. mozzarella.

4. Top with another 1/3 of the noodles and sauce, and the remaining cottage cheese and mozzarella. Top with remaining noodles, and pour remaining sauce over the top.

5. Cover and cook on low about 6 hours, or until noodles are tender. (You can top with some additional mozzarella shortly before it’s done, as well.)

6. Let cool slightly before serving.

See what I mean by free-form? Like a regular lasagna tipped. But it still tastes the same.

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