Three Cheese and Sausage Lasagna

 
Everyone has their favorite lasagna recipe – I’m partial to the one my sister gave me over thirty years ago (Virginia’s from the side of the box – really good!). This lasagna by Paula Deen got my attention because one of the cheeses used is cream cheese. It’s added to the sauce and creates a creamy, creamy sauce. I would use it on any pasta any day of the week!

Lasagna, when done well, can be one of the best Italian dishes around. If not done well, it can be pretty icky. This one, though, turned out great. It starts by layering the noodles, sauce, and cheeses and repeating:

Then it’s covered with aluminum foil and baked, then uncovered so it will turn a beautiful golden brown on the top. It didn’t make tall layers, but it had a good amount of sauce to cheese to noodles. Next time I might add about 1/2 cup of the pasta water to the sauce to make the layers a little more saucy. I cheated and put a little more mozzarella on top than called for because we enjoy cheesy pasta, but the called-for amounts would be about perfect for most.

We enjoyed this lasagna and I will definitely make it again and again. It makes a ton (13×9″ dish), so you can share it or take it to a covered dish dinner. I’m not sharing this one this time, though. I’m gonna keep it nearby and we’ll be eating it for lunch and dinner for the next three days!
 

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Three Cheese and Sausage Lasagna

****Very good lasagna.  Creamy sauce and lots of cheese!  Adapted from Paula Deen's "My Favorite Lasagna."

Servings: 12
Ingredients
  • 9 lasagna noodles
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 3 Italian Sausages
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 32 oz. spaghetti sauce
  • 5 oz. cream cheese cut into small pieces
  • 16 oz. Mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 1 1/2 C. Parmesan cheese grated
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly grease a 13x9" glass dish with cooking spray. 

  2. Cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions.

  3. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up, until browned.  Sprinkle with the salt and black pepper.  Add the spaghetti sauce and cream cheese.  Stir until the cheese has melted into the sauce (will take awhile to blend).

  4. Spoon 3/4 cup of the meat sauce into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.  Top with a single layer of noodles, 1 cup of the sauce, one-third of the mozzarella and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan.  Repeat the layers two more times until all of the ingredients have been used, ending with remaining sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan.

  5. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove the foil and continue baking until golden on top and bubbling (15-20 minutes).

Recipe Notes
Tips and Stuff: I used sweet Italian sausage, but you can use spicy if you want more of a kick. You can also use a pound of ground beef if that's what you have on hand. There should be a little grease after browning the meat, but if it's excessive be sure and drain it so the lasagna won't be greasy after baking.

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