After a long day at work, isn’t it nice to come home to a dinner that has been simmering all day, filling the house with amazing aromas? Crockpot cooking is often the best route for families on the go. With just a little planning ahead, you can put together an outstanding crockpot dinner in minutes, and the slow cooker will do the rest while you are away.
Our family enjoys many meals from the crockpot, for sure, but one of our favorites is a pasta dish I call Crockpot Lasagna.
|Copyright, Doug Kapustin Photography, 2013|
It’s not exactly a lasagna, to be truthful, because the pasta used isn’t the lasagna variety. Instead, I use a small pasta—either campanelle or quadrefiore— that is easier to scoop from the slow cooker. The other ingredients are those traditionally in oven-baked lasagna, however. I do recommend a really good store-bought marinara sauce, or if you prefer making your own, that’s even better. Personally, I stand behind the Rao’s sauces; they taste very fresh and are not skimpy on the good ingredients.
It’s fair to say that nothing beats a perfectly baked lasagna straight from the oven, but sometimes we want similar flavors and textures without all of the time and fuss. If that’s what you’re seeking, this is the dish for your next crockpot meal.
½ lb. bulk Italian sausage
½ lb. ground veal or ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 small green pepper
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
½ tsp. nutmeg
1 tbs. black pepper
2- 24 oz. jars marinara sauce (Rao’s Tomato Basil Marinara is my favorite)
2 tbs. dried basil leaves
½ teaspoon salt
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 ounces)
1 container (15 ounces) whole milk ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 lb. box pasta