Apr 11, 2011

Four Cheese Lasagna

I've been making this version of lasagna for quite awhile and was surprised that I hadn't blogged it yet.  It's super rich, creamy, and cheesy; always a crowd pleaser.  This is a pretty basic recipe for lasagna but the addition of cream cheese gives it just a little bit of tang and such a nice flavor that although it may not be traditional, it's definitely delicious!

I used to think that lasagna was this terrible labor intensive dish that would take hours to make.  Now, I'm not saying that it's super quick or anything, but really, it's worth the little bit of extra effort it takes to make tomato sauce, assemble, and bake.  And with the use of no-boil noodles, that cuts out one step.  Lasagna makes such great leftovers and freezes so well that I often freeze the last few pieces individually for James to take with him to work. I love meals that give me additional meals for the future.

Four Cheese Lasagna

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 onion, minced
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
dried basil & dried oregano (to taste for tomato sauce)
1/2 cup water
Salt and pepper to taste
1 (8 oz.) package of cream cheese, softened
2 cups ricotta cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 (9 oz.) package of no-boil lasagna noodles
Parmesan cheese

1. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or other large pot over medium heat.  Add the ground beef and onion.  Cook until meat is no longer pink.  Season with salt and pepper and drain excess fat.  Return to heat and add garlic.  Stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
2.  Add in both cans of tomatoes and season with dried basil & oregano to taste.  Add in water and season with salt and pepper.  Allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes.
3.  Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly spray and 9x13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.  Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and set both pans aside.
4.  In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, ricotta cheese, eggs, parsley, and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese.  Stir to combine.
5.  To assemble the lasagna, spoon about 1/2 cup of tomato sauce into the bottom of the prepared 9x13 pan.  Next, place a layer of lasagna noodles.  Top noodles with cheese mixture, then more sauce.  Begin with the noodles again and continue pan is full, ending with tomato sauce on top.  Top the lasagna with remaining 1 cup mozzarella and Parmesan cheese to taste.
6.  Place pan on top of prepared cookie sheet and cover lasagna with aluminum foil.  Bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake an additional 10-15 minutes, until cheese begins to bubble.  If needed, broil, watching carefully, for 2-3 minutes, until top begins to brown.
7.  Remove from oven and allow to stand for 10-15 minutes before serving.

adapted from Vintage Victuals


Rebecca said...

I have this recipe saved in my reader to make. Glad you blogged it and love it!! Will move it up on my list now. :)

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