I love trying new recipes. I also love a new cookbook. I'm obsessed and if our house was any bigger I would probably be a hoarder of cookbooks. But before you start passing judgment let me just say that I DO use them all. And I have them all color coded (maybe cookbook organization is for another day?)
Here was the dilemma for the night.
Sometimes I'm not feeling overly adventurous and just need some good ole wholesome comfort food (aka... momma's cooking). My momma lives over 1800 miles away so I know we can't sit down at her kitchen table any time soon.
AND its my husband's birthday (well and mine. We are a day apart) so I definitely don't feel like cooking. And he loves lasagna which is such a high maintenance dinner I dread it. (I always burn myself on those noodles)
So... here comes Mom to the rescue (as always). My three favorite ladies of all time gave me this handwritten recipe book for Christmas a few years back. Its a treasure. Her crockpot lasagna is delicious. Mom however never lived in south Texas. Brandon and I usually enjoy a bit more "kick" to our food so here is her lasagna with my own personal twist. If you don't like it spicy then don't add the kick!
Oh and did I mention its crockpot and SUPER easy???
Crockpot Lasagna with a Spicy Twist
1/2 lb. spicy italian sausage
1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 c. chopped onion (or a couple dashes of onion salt since we don't eat onions here)
1 green pepper chopped
dash of red pepper flakes
2 cans tomato sauce (i used spaghetti sauce)
2 tsp. salt
15 oz. carton part-skim ricotta cheese (or cottage which I prefer because its creamier)
1 small box of dethawed chopped spinach
1 c. parmesean grated
3 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
12 uncooked lasagna noodles
^ Got all your ingredients? ^
^ my new favorite crockpot secret -- no mess and easy clean up ^
^ get your little helper situated with something that will entertain her (for 2 minutes at least)
^ if you can buy already ground sausage that is recommended ^
^ I always buy my ground beef in bulk at Costco. Then I divide and freeze the rest for another day(s) ^
In a large skillet, cook sausage, ground beef, and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink (8-10 min or so) stirring occasionally. Drain
^ Cut up your green pepper (and onion) and any other vegetables you might want to add ^
^ I threw in some spaghetti squash puree. Anna has decided she only likes finger food now. No one in our family will even notice there are EXTRA vegetables in this lasagna. Add squash, cauliflower, carrots, etc. You'll feel like super mom knowing everyone is getting an extra serving of vegetables. ^
^ Stir in your vegetables, tomato sauce, italian seasoning, and salt. ^
^ In a medium bowl mix ricotta cheese, parmesean cheese, 2 c. mozzarella cheese, and spinach. You may need to add a little of one thing or the other to get the right blend. I like mine a bit creamier. ^
^ Check on your little helper -- where did she get to now? ^
^ layer your crockpot with a liner and a bit of PAM (I like to double duty)
^ Time to layer - Spoon 1/2 of the sausage mixture in first. ^
^ Add a thin layer of sauce ^
^ Layer with four noodles, broken into pieces to fit. ^
^ Next add 1/4 of the cheese and spinach mixture. Repeat until the crockpot is almost full. ^
^ Layer the last of your shredded cheese on top (if you can fit it) then put the lid on it. Cook 6-8 hours.
^ Cut and Serve. ^
^ "Are you going to eat that?" ^
^ HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my wonderful Husband. As requested, a DQ ice cream cake for dessert ^
Labels: anna, crockpot, lasagna, maximus, recipe box, recipe of the week