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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Cream Cheese Lasagna

More playing around with recipes today, in between errands. For dinner, I wanted to make something my eldest son would like. Yesterday afternoon, he startled our sleeping dog and ended up with a bite to the mouth. After we spent some time in the doctor's office, he's back home with a very swollen lip. He needs fairly soft foods, but does not like sweet things. Somehow he managed to eat pizza, (not my idea) so I don't feel too sorry for him, but still, it has to hurt. He loves lasagna, so today I brought out the Dreamfield's pasta I had been saving for a special occasion.

This lasagna is totally delicious. Very rich and flavorful. We had company tonight. What was supposed to serve twelve ended up serving 6 with only one serving left over. It is not that the serving size is too small, they just really loved this dish!

Cream Cheese Lasagna

1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground Italian Sausage
Dreamfield's Pasta Lasagna noodles, dry, not boiled
16 ounces cream cheese
1 14.5 ounce diced tomatoes
8 ounce can tomato sauce
6 ounces fresh spinach
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 cups mozzerella or Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

Brown and drain the ground beef and sausage, or use Minute Beef and Minute Sausage.
While the meat is browning, add 8 ounces cream cheese to a bowl. Blend in the juice from the canned tomatoes. Add 1 teaspoon garlic powder, blend and set aside. In a food processor or using an immersion blender, mix the spinach, and remaining 8 ounces of cream cheese and teaspoon of garlic powder.

In a large casserole dish, begin by spreading a layer of meat on the bottom. Be sure to include some of the meat drippings. Top this with about one ounce of the tomato sauce. Place 1/3 of the dry noodles over the meat. Layer the entire contents of the cream cheese and spinach mixture over these noodles. Top with more ground meat and add 1/2 cup of cheese. Top this with 1/2 can of diced tomatoes. Add another layer of noodles and top these with the cream cheese/tomato mixture. Add additional layers of meat, tomatoes and cheese. Pour the remaining tomato sauce over the casserole. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 325 for one hour. Let stand about ten minutes before cutting.

Serves 12

Serves 12 unless you have hungry young men, that is! Sore mouth or not, I think my big one had three pieces. I intended to put half in the freezer for another day, I am home from a meeting and I just have a single serving that the guys are fighting over. So much for those plans.

I don't serve the Dreamfield's pasta too often, because it does give my diabetic hubby a jump in his blood sugar. It is better than the traditional pasta, however, and everyone needs some comfort food now and then, even if they aren't wounded. I am thinking this lasagna will be a regular for holiday dinners from now on. Subbing cheese for the ricotta adds a lot of flavor and creaminess. I think a 10 ounce package of frozen spinach would work well too.

I served this with a green salad dressed with a standard vinaigrette, and topped with Bacon Salt. Perfect!

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