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Slow Cooker Kale and Mushroom Lasagna

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Slow Cooker Kale and Mushroom Lasagna

© Image 2014 Jennifer Meier
Cooking lasagna in a slow cooker is a convenient option if you want to bake the lasagna while you're out of the house. Slow cooker lasagna cooks just as well as it does in an oven and the edges still come out crispy and bubbly.

Slices of Italian sausage (one to two pounds) or a pound of ground meat can also be added to this lasagna; simply saute the meat with the mushrooms or just leave out the mushrooms and wine entirely.

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours

Total Time: 4 hours, 45 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 portobello mushrooms, cut into four quarters then thinly sliced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 6 cups (48 ounces) of marinara sauce, either homemade or from two 24 ounce jars of tomato sauce
  • 1 cup of water
  • 5 cups loosely packed, roughly chopped lacinato kale leaves (about 1 bunch of kale)
  • 8 large basil leaves
  • 15 ounces ricotta
  • 1 1/2 pounds grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups grated parmigiano-reggiano or pecorino romano cheese
  • 16-20 regular lasagna noodles, not the no-boil variety

Preparation:

Warm olive oil over medium-high heat in a wide saucepan or pot.

Saute garlic briefly then add mushrooms. Saute 12 to 15 minutes until the mushrooms are soft and the liquid evaporates.

Add wine. Simmer five minutes so the alcohol cooks off and the wine reduces by half. Stir in tomato sauce and water and turn off heat.

In a food processor, process kale and basil until finely chopped. Add the ricotta and process until the kale and ricotta are well blended.

Set aside one cup of the grated mozzarella, which will be used as the final topping for the lasagna.

Spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the slow-cooker insert.

Cover the sauce with a single layer of three uncooked lasagna noodles. You'll have to break up the noodles to make them fit in the crock. Don't worry - however you place the noodles, they will meld together seamlessly when cooking.

Spread about 1/2 cup of the ricotta mixture over the noodles. Top with 2 cups of the sauce, then sprinkle about 1 cup of the mozzarella and about 1/4 cup of the Parmigiano-Reggiano on top.

Place another layer of noodles down then repeat the layering of the ricotta, sauce, mozzarella and parmigiano. Continue this way until you have used all of the ricotta and sauce, then finish the lasagna with a layer of noodles and the remaining cup of mozzarella. If you have any parmigiano left, sprinkle it on top.

Put the lid on the slow-cooker and cook on low for 3 1/2 to 4 hours, until the top of the lasagana is melted and bubbly and the edges are beginning to get crisp.

© recipe 2012 Jennifer Meier licensed to About.com, Inc.

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