So, the other day (a few weeks ago), I made this with the firm conclusion to make it again, because if you remember, that first time was a bit disappointing. And so I did. These are the changes I made:
1. I used Italian Sausage instead of Ground Turkey. Thank you Jimmy Dean.
2. I seasoned the sausage like I would if I were making normal lasagna or spaghetti. In other words, in addition to the onion, I used more garlic (which I actually remembered! Big difference, Gentle Reader. Big.), Italian Seasoning, Garlic Salt, and a can of mushrooms.
3. I used Ragu Extra Chunky Mushroom Spaghetti Sauce, because we love it in all it's high fructose corn syrup goodness and clearly cannot have enough mushrooms. Further, while I can't remember what size I used, I do know it was more than the recipe called for. Yep. We are a sauce-y group.
4. I used a 6 Quart Crockpot (which I did last time), but I ended up using 8 noodles vs 6, and I added about a cup~ish of water to my sauce instead of the recommended amount (I don't know for certain how much because I put the water in the Ragu jar to swirl to get the last bit of sauce out. You do that, too, right?). I only cooked it for about 3.5 hours (vs. 4 or 5) and tossed on the cheese at the end as recommended and then let the whole thing sit until dinner was totally ready, which was probably more like 20~ish minutes (it's hard to get everything done at the same time, especially when Super J is giving Proper Watermelon Balling Techniques to Misses A & E, and they are meticulous learners).
5. Speaking of cheese, I used freshly grated mozzarella cheese (though I made Super J grate it for me. Hooray! Was there a difference? Not sure) and some deli sliced provolone (which needed to be used asap), and used probably 3 cups vs. 2. Oh! I also used ricotta (as recommended in the original recipe) verses cottage cheese (which is what I used last time). Was there a difference? Not sure.
6. I made and served homemade bread sticks (which recipe I will post one day soon and was/is DELICIOUS, if I do say so myself) and steamed broccoli and fresh watermelon (that was, delightfully, in season).
WONDERFUL DELICIOUS SUCCESS!!!!!
I was so happy!!!!! Hooray! AND...brace yourself: even Miss O ate some. I KNOW! Shocker.
Upon further reflection, I don't know that this is really that much easier to cook than a regular lasagna, but whatevs. It SEEMS easier to cook. It does make less, which means less leftovers, which is not terrible in the house, and I threw it together before Super J and my Sunday naps (we were soooo tired. Would someone please tell me when children stop waking up during the middle of the night, cause our 8 year old has NOT gotten the message, and for those who actually DO sleep during the night, why oh why during the summer do they want to wake up at 6:00???? I KID YOU NOT! That is an unnatural hour...though it did help us get to church on time today and sit in the comfy pews, so I guess that's the silver lining blessing of it. But still) and it was ready to eat at a normal time. Score!
Will I make it again? Yep. No doubt about it. And the next time, I might try the recipe recommended hamburger, because that's the kind of life on the edge that I like to lead.