Use dried basil leaves (not ground) to provide the best taste. Dried herb leaves cook much better in a slow-cooker than ground herbs.
Want to take your slow-cooker meal to an outing? Simply wrap the slow-cooker in a towel or newspaper to keep it warm. Attach rubber bands around the handles to secure it for travel.
Using a slow-cooker at high altitude can be tricky. At high altitudes, longer cooking times are necessary for most foods, especially meats. To shorten meat cooking time, try the High setting instead of the Low setting.
Purchasing the best pasta for cooking isn’t always easy! Here are a few tips for purchasing and storing pasta:
• Dried pasta: Avoid broken pasta or pasta that looks cracked. It may fall apart during cooking. Label, date and store tightly covered in a cool, dry location up to one year.
• Fresh pasta: Avoid packages with moisture droplets or liquid; the pasta may be moldy or mushy. The pasta should be smooth and evenly colored without broken or crumbly pieces. Freeze unopened fresh pasta in its original package up to 9 months. Leftover uncooked pasta can be frozen in an airtight container up to 3 months and homemade fresh pasta up to 1 month.
Something as simple as chopped fresh parsley will dress up this lasagna. Sprinkle on the parsley just before serving.
For lasagna with a kick, look for hot or spicy Italian sausage. Links can be used if bulk sausage isn't available. Just squeeze the meat out of the casings and cook as directed.