- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 lb. Italian sausage, casings removed – I use turkey sausage
- 2 jars (each 24 oz.) tomato sauce – I typically use Wegman’s or Wholefood’s 360 brand to save time but sometimes I use homemade.
- 2 cups water
- 1 lb. whole-milk ricotta cheese
- 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 18 ruffle-edged lasagna noodles (not no-boil noodles)
- 1 1/2 lb. mozzarella cheese, grated
- 2 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated
- 3 carrots in small diced form (my add in for more nutrition)
- Small container of your favorite mushrooms, cleaned and chopped in small pieces (my add in for more nutrition)
- Thinly sliced fresh basil for garnish
Prep your carrots and mushrooms if using.
In the stovetop-safe insert of slow cooker over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Saute the carrots and mushrooms if using for about five to seven minutes until soft. I usually add the carrots first and halfway through add the mushrooms. When they look close to done but not quite, add the sausage and cook, breaking up any large chunks with a wooden spoon, until the meat is browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and water and bring to a simmer. Transfer the sauce to a large bowl.
In another bowl, stir together the ricotta, parsley, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Spread a thin layer of the sauce on the bottom of the slow-cooker insert. Cover the sauce with a single layer of uncooked lasagna noodles (about 3), breaking the noodles as needed to fit. The noodles do not need to be perfect. Spread about 1/3 cup of the ricotta mixture over the noodles. Top with about 2 cups of the sauce, then sprinkle with about 1 cup of the mozzarella and 1/4 cup of the Parmigiano-Reggiano. Repeat the layering 4 more times, starting with the noodles.
Transfer the insert to the slow-cooker base, cover and cook on low according to the manufacturer’s instructions until the noodles are tender and cooked through, about 4 hours (WS recommended time). My best results have been stopping early at 3 hours 45 minutes to 3 hours 50 minutes.
Position a rack in the center of an oven and preheat to broil.
Transfer the slow-cooker insert to the oven and broil until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes (Williams-Sonoma recommended time). DO NOT TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PRIZE IN THE BROILER. FIVE TO SIX MINUTES WILL LIKELY BE PLENTY. YOU DO NOT WANT TO OVER-BROIL.
Let the lasagna rest for 20 minutes before serving. Garnish with basil and serve immediately. Serves 12.