Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tasty Tuesday - Italian Casserole

When I don't want spaghetti, I make this casserole.  It's a spin off of lasagna, which Mr. B isn't so fond of.  He does, however, like this and he especially likes that there are always lots of leftovers, which he thinks taste better than the first night.

Italian Casserole
Italian Casserole - Hot and bubbly from the oven.

Italian Casserole

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly oil your casserole dish with olive oil.

Bring a pot of water to boil for your pasta.  I used shells, use rotini, macaroni, whatever you have.   One box of pasta will be more than enough.

While the water is boiling and the pasta is cooking, make your sauce:

In a pan combine:

1 lb ground beef
1 onion chopped
1/2 green pepper chopped
4 cloves of garlic chopped

Drain the fat off

Add and simmer:

1 - 24 ounce jar of spaghetti/tomato sauce or 3 cups of your homemade spaghetti sauce
1 tspn oregano
1 tspn basil
1/2 tspn thyme
1/2 tspn lightly crushed fennel seeds ( just lightly broken so they'll release their flavor)

sauce and pasta simmering
Sauce and Pasta Simmering

Drain your pasta and put it in the casserole.

Pour the sauce over the top, along with:

1 cup small curd cottage cheese

Stir together lightly until pasta is coated and cottage cheese is well distributed.

Top with:

2 cups (approx) grated mozarella cheese
1 tbspn finely chopped parsley

Bake for 30 minutes until cheese is bubbly and golden brown.

Serve and enjoy!

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