Wednesday, July 23, 2008
too much of a good thing: lasagna casserole
Recipe name: crockpot lasagna casserole
Cookbook date: July 10
1.5 lbs lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 28 oz can peeled tomatoes, in thick tomato puree
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp pepper
1 lb bow-tie pasta or fettucine, freshly cooked
1 10 oz pkg frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed to remove excess moisture
2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the ground beef, onion and garlic, stirring often to break up lumps, until the meat loses its pink color, about 5 minutes. Tilt the pan to drain off excess fat, then transfer the beef mixture to a 3.5-qt slow cooker.
Add the tomatoes with their puree, the tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, and pepper, stirring to break up the tomatoes with the side of a spoon. Cover and slow cook for 7 to 8 hours on low.
Skim the fat from the surface of the meat sauce. Stir in the cooked pasta, spinach, and ricotta and Parmesan cheeses, and slow cook for 5 more minutes.
Like (almost) always, we used ground turkey for this recipe. Believe it or not, that is the only thing I changed about the recipe (except the name, which was originally ravioli casserole, but there's no ravioli in this dish!).
Aside from the Italian seasoning being a bit too strong, this was a B+ meal. It was filling, it was tasty, and it has spinach in it so you can pretend that it is good for you. We really did enjoy it... until the 4th time we were each eating it. By that point, we hated it. The recipe itself didn't state how many servings this made, and frankly, I just wasn't thinking about it when I made it. If you have a large family or are going to a potluck and need a main dish, this is a good way to go. If there are only 2 or 3 of you in your family, you've been warned that you'll be eating this for days.