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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Week 14 : Spinach Pesto Lasagna

12 lasagna noodles, uncooked
26 ou pasta sauce
8 ou pesto sauce
24 ou cottage cheese
12 ou spinach
1 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
16 ou mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup water

Spread enough pasta sauce on the bottom of the Crock Pot to coat entire surface.  Begin layering lasagna:  4 noodles, pesto sauce, pasta sauce, cottage cheese, spinach, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.  Repeat this 1-2 more times until pot is full.  (I started with two layers total and let it cook for 1 hour.  Then I added another layer.)  Shake water in empty pasta sauce jar and pour over top.  Cook on LOW for 4-5 hours.

First, let's talk about the noodle placement.  I had to play around with this for a bit to make them fit properly.  Basically, I came up with two whole noodles across the length of the pot.  Break two noodles in half and overlap them on the sides. (See pic below!!)  Easy enough.  I was a bit skeptical about putting uncooked pasta noodles in the pot, but they turned out perfect.  Next, the layers.  The spinach takes up a lot of room so the pot fills up quickly.  After two layers, I was full!  But, we all know what happens when you use fresh spinach.  You start with what looks like more than enough to feed a small army and end with enough to feed one or two soldiers!  Needless to say, after one hour of cooking, the lasagna had decreased in size and only filled up half the pot.  Perfect- add another layer!  (It is breaking the cardinal rule of Crock Pot cooking to lift the lid during cooking- it adds 20 minutes to cook time every time you can't resist!  However, this is worth the 20 minutes!)  I sprinkled some dried parsley on top just to make it look prettier.  (I also snapped a before pic because I thought it looked delicious and I know what cooked spinach looks like!) 

I came up with this combo after reading many different versions of this recipe.  It was scrumptious!!  I brought it to, yet another, ER potluck and the entire dish was empty!  I served it with the fam's secret marinated green olive salad (I could be disowned for giving the recipe away, but there are many similar online).  I am wanting to try some new combos with it though now that I know how great the basic was.  Mushrooms, sliced Italian sausage, sun dried tomatoes, olives....


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  2. Did you use the kind of lasagna that doesn't require boiling? Also, why not any ricotta-is it a low fat thing? Do you think you could make it 50/50? No idea why your pics aren't taking-sorry! But they are lovely once you click on the little square!

  3. I'm glad you asked those questions Robin because it reminds me of what I forgot to put in the posting above! I used the regular lasagna noodles. I have never been a fan of the no-boil type. I think they are too thin and a bit rubbery. The regular ones turned out great. And there is no reason you couldn't use ricotta- I just prefer the cottage cheese when I make lasagna. I just got home from the grocery store with all the ingredients to make this for myself for the week! Sooooo good! (I bought some Italian sausage links to slice into it this time!)

  4. Sounds and looks really good. The pictures showed up on my end. I found a crockpot I want for Mother's Day and showed my husband exactly which one it is so maybe I'll be able to make this soon!

  5. Oh my...this looks sooooooooooo good. I'm definitely trying this next week; we get a lot of fresh spinach at my house! YUMMY!!! Nice job!

  6. I made this again and put the sausage links in it. EVEN BETTER!!!