Crock Pot Lasagna

Sunday Dinner – 7 April 2019

I don’t know that I could live without my crockpot. I use it at least once a week during the fall and winter for a big pot of soup or stew. And when we’ve got a jam packed weekend with barely any extra time to spare, it is a lifesaver. I know there’s a lot of hype about the insta pot, but really, if you’ve preplanned, to me the crockpot is the way to go.

One of my standbys for the crockpot is lasagna. You prepare your lasagna exactly like you would if you were putting it in the oven, with just a few minor differences:

  • I don’t cook my lasagna noodles, even if I’m doing it in the oven. You definitely wouldn’t want to cook them if you’re using the crockpot
  • I used one 24 oz jar of pasta sauce and added an 8 oz can of tomato sauce, and some tomato paste that was left over and in the fridge (mainly just to use it up). I didn’t add a bunch of extra liquid to the sauce like I would if it were going into the over because the crockpot should actually create that moisture. The last thing I wanted was lasagna soup…
  • spray the heck out of the crockpot with cooking spray – you’ll thank me later
  • start with a very thin layer of the meat sauce on the bottom, then noodles, cheese mixture, shredded cheese, meat, noodles, cheese mixture, shredded cheese, meat & top with even more shredded cheese. You might have enough stuff to make more layers, and it always depends on crock pot size.
  • don’t be afraid to break the noodles into various sizes to cover your layer..the shape of the crockpot isn’t exactly conducive to easy layers

I actually assembled it all on Sunday night, then turned the crockpot on low around 11 a.m. Sunday morning. It was perfect when we sat down for dinner at 5.

Brian said it was the best lasagna he’s ever had…gosh I love him…

Lasagna Plated

Of course, Sunday dinner would not be complete without a salad. The usual fixings, except I kicked it up a notch and shredded some fresh parmesan on top. For the dressing I used a raspberry balsamic vinegar because it’s Aunt P’s (I’ve been calling her that lately…not sure why!) favorite.

I picked up some Italian bread from Aldi, sliced it fairly thin, buttered it, sprinkled it with parsley garlic salt and shredded parmesan and popped it into a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes until it was crunchy.

I really need to broaden my Italian dessert horizons. My go to is tiramisu. It is so easy, people! The hardest thing about it is finding the lady fingers, and the past couple of times I’ve used Stella D’oro Margherite cookies and honestly, if you let it sit just a little longer than if using the lady fingers, I think I prefer them. I’ve been making this for a good 10 years now and I can tell you, once I got my Kitchen Aid mixer, it only got better! Here is the recipe:

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 3 Tblsp sugar
  • 1 lb mascarpone cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups strong espresso (or REALLY strong coffee), cooled
  • 2 tsp dark rum
  • 24 packaged Italian lady finger cookies
  • dark chocolate for shaving/grating

In a large bowl using electric mixer with whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks and sugar until think and pale in color, about 5 minutes.

Add the cheese and beat until smooth. Add 1 Tblsp of espresso and mix thoroughly.

In a small shallow dish, add remaining espresso and rum, stirring well. Dip each lady finger on both sides, about 5 seconds or so. Line the bottom of a 13 x 9 with half of the lady fingers, breaking them as necessary to fit the bottom of the dish. Don’t worry about them touching each other – they will expand some.

Evenly spread half of the mascarpone/egg mixture on top of the lady fingers. Arrange another layer of soaked cookies on top of that, and finish the the rest of the marcarpone/egg mixture.

Cover the tiramisu and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and up to 8 hours, before serving.

I grate squares of Tcho dark chocolate on top just before serving.  (Tcho is seriously the BEST dark chocolate that I’ve ever had, and you should totally check out their website, or visit if you happen to be in San Fran).

Tiramisu

Music was Claudio Villa, and wine was a nice Bolla Chianti.

This week we also had the pleasure of my cousin Joe joining us. It’s bittersweet because we won’t have Aunt P every week with us here shortly…

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