Thursday, July 11, 2013

Crock Pot Lasagna

Did you know you can cook lasagna in a crock pot? Yes, you can. No seriously, you can. I'm telling you...ARGH!!! YOU CAN!!!

How? Easy. Make a crock pot.

The secret? There is no secret. You just make a standard lasagna recipe and you make a crock pot.

No, I'm not kidding! Why would I kid about that? I see no comical value in pretending you can make lasagna in a crock pot but you can't! Oh, you know what? I can. Just substitute M-80s for the noodles. Har-dee-har-har.

Oh my God, I *bleeping* hate you. Just try it.

Crock Pot Lasagna

1 box lasagna noodles, uncooked, broken into pieces, any size, don't matter, stop worrying about it
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1# hamburger, cooked & crumbled
1# Italian sausage, cooked & crumbled
16 oz brick mozzarella cheese, sliced up, you know, kinda thinish???
15 oz ricotta cheese (Yeah, I know. 15? That's the size of the container. Shhhtupid.)
1 egg
Italian seasoning
Parmesan cheese

Mix the ricotta cheese and egg together in a bowl. Every recipe will tell you to wipe down or spray the inside of the crock pot with oil. I'm telling you right now --- it's not going to make a bit of difference. Crock pots aren't that hard to clean up anyway. If yours is you should probably get a new crock pot because there's something wrong with it. Not "dark side of the force" wrong. Most likely it's older than the dirt it was made from. And get yourself tested for asbestos and lead paint poisoning while you're at it. Just in case. Meanwhile, I'm calling A&E to see if Hoarders is accepting applications. Do you want me to use your real name or a pseudonym?

1. Spread 1/2 cup sauce in the bottom of the crock pot. Use at least a 5-quart crock pot.
2. Sprinkle Italian seasoning on top. If you have to measure, um, how about 1/4 tsp. Sounds good? Good.
3. Add a layer of noodles. (You don't have to get too anal about this.)
4. Add 1/2 the hamburger.
5. Add 1/2 the ricotta cheese mixture. (Good luck spreading that on top of hamburger! Ha!)
6. Add 1/2 the sausage.
7. Add 1/2 the mozzarella.
8. Drizzle 1 cup of sauce on top.
9. Sprinkle more Italian seasoning on.
10. Add another layer of noodles. (Again, avoid being anal, if possible.)
11. Add the other 1/2 of hamburger.
12. Add the other 1/2 of the ricotta cheese mixture. (Oh, give up and drop it in by the spoonful.)
13. Add the other 1/2 of the sausage.
14. Add the other 1/2 of the mozzarella.
15. Drizzle 1 cup of sauce on top.
16. More Italian seasoning.
17. Add a final layer of noodles. (I would tell you that anal is not the way to go, but people will see this layer. So do it anally. It will make other women jealous because they think their guys will be impressed by what you do that they won't. They will think theirs isn't good enough and now they have to be anal too. Honestly, most men I know aren't really into that. Rarely will being anal on top get you an honest high five from a dude. Probably just a shrug along with a mumble about it not being worth the effort when all he wants to do is get in there and eat it. Sloppy or not.) (By the way, I'm still talking about lasagna. You perverts.)
18. The rest of the sauce. I have no idea how much is left. 1/2 cup? 1 cup? If it doesn't look like enough, then open another jar or something. I don't know. You're not negotiating peace in the Middle East. It's just freakin' lasagna.
19. More Italian seasoning? Why not.
20. Sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top to cover up the fact that you botched #17 horribly. I mean, come on! How hard is it to lay some hard, stiff noodle?

Cook on Low for 3 hours. Do NOT cook more than 3 hours. Of that, I am very serious about. The noodles will turn to farkin' mush. In fact, I would suggest you turn the crock pot off after 2-1/2 hours and just let it sit. That crock pot will stay warm for three days anyway.

Lasagna Noodles - You have to trust me on this one. Don't cook them. There's no need to cook noodles for any standard lasagna recipe. There's more than enough moisture in lasagna to cook the noodles for you! Also, if you don't use the whole box, don't freak out. I never do. I usually use about 2/3. No one eats lasagna for the noodles anyway. If they do, save yourself time and money and just make them ziti. They don't deserve lasagna.
Spaghetti Sauce - I'm uber-picky about my spaghetti sauce. When I was a kid I ONLY ate my mother's homemade sauce. I think it might be because she put big pieces of Italian sausage in it. Nom nom nom!!! I've found that Wegman's brand sauces are excellent though. For lasagna I use their cheaper line. Their $0.99 Tomato & Basil is perfect for this recipe.
Italian sausage - If you don't like sausage, just leave it out. Personally, I love a meaty lasagna! (That sounds almost as pornographic as the noises I make while eating a meaty lasagna.)
Mozzarella cheese - BUY THE BRICK AND CUT IT UP! IT'S NOT THAT HARD! If you're going to use shredded mozzarella then just skip it completely. Shredded mozzarella disintegrates when used in lasagna. And don't bother arguing with me about this. You're not going to change my mind. 
Ricotta cheese - I know it's a pain to try and spread it. I used to put it in a ziplock baggie and cut the corner to spread it. Like cake frosting. It's effective but can be messy. Especially if you have the same lack of cooking skills and grace that I do. Just do your best. It honestly doesn't matter. I think ricotta is about 50% water and it's just going to smoosh around where it damn well pleases anyway.
Parmesan cheese - Sometimes I get crazy and mix a 1/2 cup into the ricotta mixture! Yee haw! Sometimes the hubby finishes off the parmesan cheese and doesn't tell me so I don't put it on the grocery list. Sonuva--grrr.
Other stuff - This is just a basic, simple recipe. If I'm feeling frisky I will add sauteed onions and garlic. Sometimes I like roasted red peppers and spinach in there too. I definitely like hot Italian sausage better! (Insert obvious hot Italian sausage joke here.) But the more stuff you add increases the chances that someone won't like it or eat it. This recipe is a generic crowd-pleaser and will work 90% of the time. The other 10% should not be trusted and you should disown them immediately. In fact, you should do the patriotic thing and report them to the government as a terrorist. Or a vegan. Although I don't honestly know what the government will do with a vegan. Is there such a thing as organic, unpasteurized, free-range coconut-water boarding???

Bon appetite!