…FINALLY winter is here, although if the weather reports are to be believed this sudden cold snap (and boy is it cold) will only last a short while before the more normal Spring-like temperatures return as hurricane after hurricane lashes the British Isles throwing the warmer air from the Atlantic our way. Writing that sentence feels totally alien to me, sitting here in my thick jumper, with the fire lit and icy fingers of frost lace the windows but it really does seem as though the weather patterns have made it clear that they’ve changed for good and milder winters in the UK will become the norm. It makes me wonder how this will effect our crops and cattle… will they notice? Will we have to adjust the types of crops we grow and will some types of vegetables slowly die-out? It will be interesting to see if we sluggishly accept the change or adapt quickly and embrace the potential it may bring… I’m hoping this is all just a blip in the cycle of life and that today’s frost will finally kill off the hoards of flies and rodents before the UK becomes like a biblical version of Egypt… and our year will return to some kind of normality… but I very much doubt it…
slow-cooker spinach, rocket, watercress and ricotta lasagne
well I have to say that i’m genuinely impressed with this… it’s incredibly easy to make as there’s no pre-cooking so it’s basically an assembly job and it has come out beautifully cooked and of course most importantly it’s bloody tasty. I’m a little relieved because my last couple of attempts at vegetarian slow-cooker cooking were a little bit of a let down – a lot of prep and ingredients and only so-so delivery. My slow-cooker lasagna recipe is an amalgam of a few I found on-line and it was only because the devilishly clever google brought up the word lasagne as I plugged in my search.
As you can tell from my recipe list i’m using all pre-made shop-bought sauces and i’ve also used a bag of fresh salad mixes which have worked a dream and have all gone together to make the most wonderful and simple meals…
1 x 500g pasata (I used one of those large glass jars)
1 x 250g tub of supermarket brand tomato and garlic pasta sauce (the type they sell with the fresh pasta)
1 x 250ml tub of cottage cheese
1 x 150g Boursin Garlic and Herb cheese
1 x 250g tub of ricotta cheese
2 x 125g bags of fresh mozzarella
1 x 120g bag of mixed salad leaves (spinach, watercress and rocket)
roughly 10 sheets of dry – no pre-cook lasagne sheets
fresh basil leaves
mix together your two tomato sauces in one bowl and in another bow, mix together the cottage cheese, ricotta cheese and boursin
rub a little olive oil on the inside of your slow cooker and then spoon enough tomato sauce in to cover the bottom.
lay over this enough sheets of lasagna to roughly cover the sauce, you will need to do a bit of a jigsaw job with the sheets but don’t worry about how it looks, nobody will see this
then carefully spread over a couple of tablespoons of the cheese mix followed by a handful of the mixed salad leaves which you can scatter across the top with some torn basil and mozzarella thrown over too
then it’s a case of simply repeating the layers until you reach the top of the slow-cooker at which point you should try and end with the cheese and a scattering of fresh basil and mozzarella
place the lid on and cook on high for 3 hours
then turn the slow cooker off – and here’s the important part – leave the lasagna to sit for at least 30 mins before serving as the whole pot will be very liquid and the dish needs time to allow the pasta to fully absorb the juices – after which time it should be able to be served like a regular lasagna.
eat and of course, enjoy!