This recipe has been all over Pinterest and the blogosphere recently, and I just have to add my own voice to all of the others that are saying: IT IS FREAKING DELICIOUS. This is a seriously, seriously good dinner. I'm always looking for fun new twists on lasagna since it's one of Joe's favorite dinners, and making it for him the traditional way is an all-day affair. This baked spaghetti tastes exactly like lasagna, with much less fuss.
Now, be forewarned: this recipe makes a ton of food. Yes, it contains 2 pounds of cheese and 1.5 pounds of pasta. I made the recipe as-is, and not only did we have enough for two separate dinners, we also had enough for lunches for all four of us for at least a week. It makes a lot. It can be easily halved if you're only cooking for a couple of people or if you don't like leftovers.
My personal favorite part of lasagna is the ricotta filling, and this recipe has that and then some. The noodles are mixed up with a ridiculously creamy mixture of ricotta, sour cream, half and half, and mozzarella -- and because I have to be me, I threw some cream cheese in there too. The mixture is poured into a casserole dish (a very large casserole dish) and baked, then each serving is topped with a scoop of meaty pasta sauce. It's stupid how good this is. Just stupid.
Baked Spaghetti Lasagna
adapted from Plain Chicken
1 1/2 pounds (24 ounces) spaghetti
8 cups (32 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
8 ounces ricotta cheese
8 ounces sour cream
8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup half and half, milk, or heavy cream
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
3 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound Italian sausage
1 jar spaghetti sauce
Salt and pepper, and any other seasonings, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain.
2. In a large bowl, stir together ricotta, sour cream, cream cheese, half-and-half, mozzarella, Italian seasoning, garlic, salt, pepper, and half of the parmesan cheese. Add spaghetti and toss until well coated.
3. Pour the spaghetti mixture into a 9 x 13 pan lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Top spaghetti with remaining parmesan cheese. Cover dish aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes.
4. While the pasta is baking, prepare the meat sauce. Melt the butter in a large skillet; add onion and sausage and saute until the meat is cooked thorugh and the onion is translucent. Add spaghetti sauce, adjust for seasoning, and simmer until the pasta is ready.
5. Remove the pasta from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes. Cut the pasta into squares and top each serving with the meat sauce.