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posted: 7/22/2014 5:45 AM

Slow Cooker "Rustic" Four-Layer Lasagna

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  • For those hot days when you don't want to turn on the oven, try Penny Kazmier's lasagna that cooks in a crockpot.

      For those hot days when you don't want to turn on the oven, try Penny Kazmier's lasagna that cooks in a crockpot.
    Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Four-layer lasagna cooks in a crock pot.

      Four-layer lasagna cooks in a crock pot.
    Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer


1 pound bulk Italian sausage

1 cup finely chopped onion, divided

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 pounds ricotta cheese

1 egg, beaten

3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

½ cup grated parmesan cheese, divided

¼ cup fresh minced parsley or 2 tablespoons dried

1 tablespoon minced fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried

7-8 cups pasta sauce sauce

1 pound uncooked lasagna noodles, divided

7-quart slow cooker

In a large skillet sauté Italian sausage and ½ cup chopped onion until browned. Add garlic and continue cooking 1 minute. Drain grease and set aside to cool.

In large bowl combine ricotta cheese and beaten egg, mixing well. Add 1 cup mozzarella cheese, ¼ cup parmesan cheese, parsley and basil. Mix well. Add cooled Italian sausage mixture and mix well to thoroughly combine.

Spray inside of slow cooker with cooking spray. Spread 1½ cups pasta sauce in bottom of slow cooker. Place one-fourth of lasagna noodles in bottom of slow cooker. This will require breaking and layering of noodles, but that is OK. Top noodles with an additional 1 cup of sauce. Add one-third of the cheese mixture, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with ½ cup mozzarella cheese. Top with 1 cup spaghetti sauce. Repeat layers ending with a fourth layer of noodles. Top with remaining sauce.

Cover and cook on low heat about 6 hours, or until noodles are tender.

When completely cooked top with remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheeses; cover and continue cooking until cheese is melted, about 10 minutes. Serve hot with additional sauce on the side, if desired.

Serves eight to 10.

Penny Kazmier

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