½ lb lasagna noodles regular or oven-ready, uncooked
1 lb Italian sausage bulks, or links with casings removed
½ lb ground beef
1 cup onion chopped, about 1 large onion
2 cloves garlic minced
28 oz can of tomatoes cut up, undrained
12 oz can of tomato paste
2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoon dried basil leaves
⅕ teaspoon fennel seed
¼ teaspoon coarse black pepper
15 oz ricotta cheese
1 large egg beaten
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes or 2 teaspoon fresh minced parsley
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
¾ cup Parmesan cheese
In large skillet, combine Italian sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic. Cook until sausage is no longer pink and onion is tender; drain.
Stir in next 7 ingredients. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 5 minutes.
EXPERT TIP: For a faster lasagna, cook meat, onions, and garlic according to the recipe. Stir in a large jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce. Heat and stir to combine. Proceed with recipe instructions.
In a medium bowl, blend ricotta, egg, parsley, salt, and pepper.
Spoon 1 cup of the meat sauce into the bottom of a crockpot.
Layer one-third of each lasagna noodles, ricotta mixture, remaining meat sauce, Mozzarella cheese (1 cup for each layer, final cup reserved), and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. Break the corners of the noodles as needed to fit the curve of the crockpot.
EXPERT TIP: Break the corners of the noodles as needed to fit the curve of the crockpot. I like spreading the ricotta layer onto the noodle layer as the noodles make a nice flat surface to spread out the ricotta.
Repeat layers two more times. Set aside one cup of mozzarella cheese to add during the last 30 minutes of cooking.
Place lid on crockpot and cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 5-6 hours.
Check noodles for doneness. When noodles are done cooking, sprinkle the top with reserved cheese and place the lid back on the crockpot. Continue cooking until cheese is melted.