I love cooking proper food for my family but sometimes it’s finding the time. Being a family of six means meal times can be hectic especially if they all want something different. I try now to make one pot meals for us all to share things like pasta, cottage pie, chilli Con Carne and of course Lasagne. We would be lost without the slow cooker we use it loads and it means I use fresh ingredients so healthier meals for us all.
I have never tried a lasagne in my slow cooker before. I have researched a few recipes before settling on my recipe below. We have played around with flavours and textures in lasagne loads of times before so I knew what would and wouldn’t work for us.
We have chosen to make a lasagne with our Dolmio sauce which has ricotta and mozzarella instead of white sauce we find it tastier and no we’re near as sloppy. Dolmio Bolognese Original 500g sauce is 100% natural. In each jar, you’ll find at least 10 juicy diced tomatoes, a dollop of tomato puree, half an onion, a tablespoon of sunflower oil, a couple of cloves of garlic, a handful of herbs including basil, a teaspoon of cornflour, a teaspoon of salt, a pinch of pepper, two teaspoons of added beet sugar for taste, a squeeze of lemon juice, a splash of water and nothing more. In fact, a jar provides a family of four with one of their 5-a-day each and that’s before you add any further veg to the meal! For more information visit www.dolmio.co.uk/thankgoodness or if you’re looking for mid-week meal inspiration check out the label on Dolmio jars.
Ingredients for Lasagne with Ricotta and Mozzarella
500g mince beef or lamb
Half a Chorizo ring (optional)
250g Jar of Dolmio sauce
6 fresh plum tomatoes
1 Red pepper
5-8 mushrooms depending on size
2 cloves garlic
2 x 250g tubs of ricotta Cheese
250g grated mozzarella Cheese
1 packet of dried lasagne sheets (you could use fresh but you would cook your meat on the hob a little longer and then less time in the slow cooker probably about 2 hours rather 4)
- Brown your mince meat and set to one side in a large pan
- Slice onion finely and fry off till soft.
- Grate carrot and courgette, dice your mushroom and red pepper nice and small. Qtr your tomatoes.
- Add everything to a large pan, and stir in you jar of Dolmio sauce.
- Add herbs and seasoning to your liking.
- Heat on the hob on a low heat with a lid on the pan to allow everything to get nice and soft.
- Put your ricotta and half of the mozzarella cheese in a large bowl and combine together.
- Time to build your lasagne. Take your slow cooker dish (we use a 3ltr size), shape doesn’t matter, and place 1 qtr of your meat mixture on the bottom.
- Layer the pasta sheets on top breaking piece to fit so you cover the meat.
- Add 1 third of the ricotta mixture to cover the pasta
- add 1 qtr of the meat, and layer again with pasta and ricotta
- Do another layer of meat, pasta and ricotta
- Add the last qtr of meat to the top. (You should have done 4 layers of meat 3 ricotta and 3 pasta).
- Place a tea towel under the lid otherwise your sauce will end up to wet.
- Cook on low for 4-6 hours (slow cookers vary so keep checking to see if the pasta is soft by inserting a knife).
- Once happy and ready to serve sprinkle the remaining mozzarella on and replace lid without the towel and allow to melt. This will only take a few minutes.
- Serve with garlic bread or just on its own.
How to cook without the slow cooker:
You can also make this pasta in a standard pasta dish. We have a Dolmio one we got from the supermarket when on a promotion last year and its just the perfect size when using fresh lasagne sheets. You would do the recipe in exactly the same way but just cook you meat for about 20-30 minutes on the stove before assembling. Then cook in the oven for about 20-30 minutes about gas mark 5. You sprinkle the mozzarella on about 10 minutes before the end to melt.
The kids loved the lasagne and really enjoyed eating it. They said it tasted yummy. It was really nice to all eat at the same time and eat the same food as we often have food separate due to the time Neil finishes work. My kids like vegetables in our sauce but if your kids prefer not to feel them then I would just use the Dolmio jar on its own.
You can see what other Dolmio bloggers have been making over on Twitter under #Dolmio #ThankGoodness