Six Layer Slow Cooker Spinach Lasagna with Sausage Sauce
Super simple recipe that can be put together in minutes and ready in 1 ½ hours. Perfect for the holidays if your oven is full to the brim.
Serves 8 dinner size portions
This recipe is for a 6-quart slow cooker utilizing 6 layers of noodles.
2 lbs Italian sausage of your choice. I used D&D Market's Red Wine Sausage*
1/2 cup water
3 cups D&D All Purpose Marinara Sauce*, or seasoned tomato sauce of your choice
1 ten-ounce package of frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
2 cups ricotta cheese (I use Liuzzi & Angeloni*)
¼ teaspoon black pepper to taste
½ teaspoon salt to taste
1 box Barilla* no-boil lasagna noodles* (Thick regular noodles won't work)
10 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese (2 oz). Use less if very salty.
Remove the sausage from the casings by squeezing the meat out. In a medium saucepan add the sausage and 1/2 cup of water. Cover and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes or until cooked through. Break up the lumps. I like a fairly fine ground sausage for this recipe so I chop the cooked meat in the food processor. Combine the tomato sauce and the sausage and hold aside. It should be somewhat watery, not super thick.
Place the defrosted spinach in a strainer over a bowl and press down to extract the liquid. In a medium mixing bowl mix together the drained spinach, ricotta cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Then add the beaten egg and combine thoroughly. Add 3 tablespoons water or the leftover spinach juice to the mixture. It should be fairly loose and not thick like paste.
Evenly spread 1 cup of the of the sausage sauce onto the bottom of the slow cooker. Then layer 2 ½ no-cooked noodles on top of the sauce. Break the noodles to fit. Try not to overlap or touch the sides of the slow cooker. The noodles will expand while cooking. Drop by tablespoons 1 cup of the ricotta mixture on top of the noodles. Top with another layer of noodles. Spread 1 cup of the sausage sauce on top of the noodles and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan cheese. Add a third layer of noodles and top with 1 cup ricotta. Add a fourth layer of noodles and top with 1 cup of sauce and 1 T Parmesan cheese. Add a 5th layer of noodles and top with the remaining cup of ricotta. Top with the final 6th layer of noodles. Top with the remaining 2 ½ cups sauce. Be sure that the tomato sauce covers the noodles completely or the noodles could dry out.
Cover and cook on low for 1 to 2 hours or until bubbly and when inserted in the middle with a knife, the knife comes out hot. If cooked longer the lasagna could dry out and be scorched on the bottom. Drizzle water around the edges if it seems the lasagna is drying out. When done turn the cooker off and top with the remaining 8 tablespoons of cheese. Replace the cover for 5 minutes to melt the cheese. Uncover and let rest 15 minutes before serving.
*Products found at D&D Italian Market, Franklin Ave. Hartford.
Slow cooker on set – All Clad – 6.5 quart cooker with ceramic insert