Growing up, this was the meal I always wanted on my birthday. Mother made the sauce from scratch, but I use store-bought spaghetti sauce to save time. Replace the ground beef with Italian sausage for more spice. —Deb Morrison, Skiatook, Oklahoma
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided
- 1 pound medium pasta shells, cooked and drained
- 4 cups (16 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
- 3 cups (24 ounces) 4% cottage cheese
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
- 1 jar (24 ounces) meatless pasta sauce
- In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Sprinkle with salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the pasta, 3 cups mozzarella cheese, cottage cheese, eggs, Parmesan cheese, parsley and remaining pepper. Transfer to a greased shallow 3-qt. baking dish. Top with beef mixture and spaghetti sauce (dish will be full).
Cover and bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake, uncovered, 15 minutes longer or until bubbly and cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Freeze option: Sprinkle casserole with remaining mozzarella cheese. Cover and freeze unbaked casserole. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake casserole as directed, increasing time as necessary to heat through and for a thermometer inserted in center to read 165°. Yield: 6-8 servings.
Originally published as Lasagna Casserole in Quick Cooking November/December 1998, p7
Full-Bodied Red Wine
Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Syrah.
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