Michelle's Blog

My life as a wife, homemaker, friend, Christian

Tomato Mozzarella Casserole April 3, 2009

Filed under: frugal,Recipes — mrswade @ 10:12 am
Tags: , , , , ,

This one’s from my very dear friend Mikaela. ¬†ūüôā ¬†I was a little nervous about it at first because I’m really not a casserole fan, and I thought it would be really heavy because of the cheese. ¬†NOT SO! It was AAAAAmazing! ūüôā yum! ¬†

We took her suggestion to add some meat (but I accidentally added too much, so it didn’t all fit in the pan. ¬†It’s ok though, because I had a make-shift spaghetti for lunch the next day with the noodles that didn’t fit. ūüôā¬†

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb. dry pasta (recipe calls for Ziti, but I used rotini… really, any short, sturdy pasta will work)
  • 1/2 lb lean ground beef or turkey
  • 1- 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 – 32 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbls. vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbls. Fresh chopped basil (or 2 tsp. dried – I used Italian Herb Seasoning instead)
  • 1/2 tsp. (or more) salt
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • 8 oz (2 cups) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup. grated parmesan cheese
Directions
Cook pasta according to package in a large pot. ¬†Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. ¬†Put back in pot and set aside. ¬†In a 12″ skillet, cook ground beef. ¬†When done, drain off fat and rinse in a¬†colander¬†and add minced garlic cook until until tender, but do not brown. ¬†Add tomatoes and simmer until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. ¬†Stir in basil, sugar, and salt. ¬†Add sauce to the pasta and toss, adding the reserved pasta water as needed to loosen sauce. ¬†
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spread 1/2 of the pasta mixture into an oiled 9 x 13 baking pan.  Sprinkle 1/2 of each type of cheese over the top.  Spread the rest of the pasta mixture, then the rest of the cheese.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Thanks Mikaela!
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