Saturday Night Pasta
Serves 12. Recipe is by Corinne Cook, who said, “This casserole freezes well. Once it’s put together, it can be frozen before or after baking.”
2 lbs. ground beef round
2 tbls. olive oil
1 (15-oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (12-oz.) can tomato paste
1 or 2 tsps. dried basil
1 or 2 tsps. dried oregano
1 (1-oz.) pkg. dry onion soup mix (some of these come two to a box)
1 cup water
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt or to taste
½ tsp. black pepper or to taste
¼ tsp. red pepper or to taste
½ lb. noodles or your favorite pasta shape
1 lb. mozzarella cheese (I usually use a little less)
1 (1-lb.) carton small curd cottage cheese
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus 1⁄3 cup for topping, optional
½ cup sliced black or green olives, for topping, optional
1. Brown ground meat in olive oil; drain off excess fat.
2. Stir in tomato sauce, tomato paste, basil, oregano, dry soup mix, water, garlic, salt, black pepper and red pepper. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Taste for seasoning.
3. Boil pasta in salted water until tender; drain.
4. Layer in casserole sprayed with nonstick coating: Pasta, mozzarella, cottage cheese, 1 cup Parmesan cheese, meat mixture. Top with sliced olives and 1⁄3 cup Parmesan cheese. Or for a lasagna-type dish, layer pasta, mozzarella, meat mixture, cottage cheese and 1 cup Parmesan cheese. Do not top with extra cheese or olives.
5. Bake at 350 degrees in a preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until heated through and bubbly.