Prep 1 hr 30 mins
Cook 4 hrs
This is the traditional lasagna recipe my Italian grandmother handed down. I adapted it for a 6-quart crock pot. Can be assembled the same way and baked in a 350 degree oven for one hour. ** 7/07 Note: Thanks to dmac, I wanted to add that I also at times make this sauce using sausage taken out of the casing. Brown after the ground beef, reserving with drippings. Add to the sauce at the same time with ground beef.** *** 1/1/08 Additional notes: Can also add another layer of 1.5 pounds of browned ground beef (seasoned with salt and black pepper to taste), Italian sausage, or a combination. The additional layer will make the lasagna come to the top of a 6-qt. crockpot, but I did not have any problems with overflow. Cook for a total of 6 hours on low. I have also used this recipe in a 12-qt. roaster oven using the bake feature, increasing all of the ingredients proportionately (using 2 eggs) to feed a larger crowd. If increasing the amount of sauce you make, use 2 cans of paste for every 2 cans of tomatoes and increase all other ingredients proportionately. I cook this on 350 degrees for one hour with the mozzarella slices on it from the beginning, just as I would if in a conventional oven. I have also assembled this a day ahead of time and put in the refrigerator until ready to cook the next day.***
- nonstick cooking spray
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 onion, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 3 (28 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
- 1⁄4 cup fresh basil leaf, torn
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- hot red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)
- 32 ounces ricotta cheese
- 3⁄4 cup romano cheese, grated, divided
- 16 ounces mozzarella cheese, divided, half cut into cubes, half sliced
- 1 egg, beaten
- salt and black pepper
- 1⁄4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 (12 ounce) package no-boil lasagna noodles, uncooked
- Spray crock pot with non-stick cooking spray.
- Heat olive oil and saute onion and garlic in Dutch oven.
- Add ground beef and cook until lightly browned.
- Add salt and pepper and mix well. Remove meat from pan and set aside.
- Add tomato paste and cook approximately 5 minutes, until browned.
- Add crushed tomatoes, basil, wine, sugar and hot pepper. Stir in the browned ground beef and mix well.
- Cover and let simmer 30 minutes while you prepare the cheese mixture.
- Place ricotta cheese in large mixing bowl.
- Make a well in the center and add 1/2 cup Romano cheese, mozzarella cubes, salt, pepper, and parsley.
- In a small bowl, beat egg lightly. Pour into center well with cheeses.
- Mix until thoroughly combined.
- When tomato sauce has cooked for 30 minutes, spoon a layer of tomato sauce into a 6-qt. oval crock pot.
- Cover with a layer of lasagna noodles, overlapping and breaking pasta to fit all around the bottom, if necessary.
- Add half of the ricotta mixture and carefully spread over lasagna noodles with a frosting knife.
- Cover with a layer of sauce. Then add another layer of lasagna noodles, ricotta mixture, sauce.
- End with a final layer of lasagna noodles and the remaining sauce.
- Cover and cook on low for 4 hours. (I have to set mine on 8 hours and shut it off or switch it to keep warm after 4 hours since my slow cooker cooks anything under 8 on high.).
- In the last 60 minutes, sprinkle top with remaining Romano cheese and slices of mozzarella.
Loved it ! I used my precooked/frozen ground beef (time saver) followed directions exactly and it was perfect! I will try the sausage also.
This was really good, and the noodles got nice and tender. I added a layer of spinach (two frozen packages of spinach, defrosted) in between the layers too.
I just made this last night for a dinner at work. I used a 6 qt oval crock pot. I used 1 1/4 pounds of 90/10 ground sirloin and broke up 2 sweet Italian sausages as I tend to like a meatier lasagna. I followed this pretty closely with the exception of using brown sugar since that's what my mom used in her sauce and some dried Italian seasoning herbs. My crock pot is digital and there was no way for me to cook for 4 hours on low, the thing is preset to cook at high for anything under 6 hours. I just made sure I checked it. I did spray the crock with a non stick spray to help with clean up. Oh, I didn't see how to incorporate the meat, either in the sauce or as a separate layer, so I just mixed it into the sauce. I stuck the mozzarella in the freezer for a bit to make it easier to slice and dice. Everyone loved it! I was told to bring it again anytime. I really liked the sauce and how great the flavor was and how simple it was to make. Thanks!