Guest Author - Brandii Lacey
Growing up, I fondly remember my grandmother and mom making wonderful, savory pasta casseroles. They had many different ways of preparing them, and all were delicious. However, one in particular really stands out in my mind. The cheesy pasta casserole was my absolute favorite. I remember requesting it for my special birthday dinner.
Whether itís for a birthday dinner or a weeknight meal, I hope youíll enjoy it as much as I do!
1 bunch of green onions
1 15 oz. can of tomato sauce
5 ounces of cream cheese, light or fat free
8 ounces of sour cream, light or fat free
ľ cup cottage cheese, light or fat fat free
1 box of pasta shells
1 package of lean ground beef
2 teaspoons of Herbs de Provence
1. Boil pasta according to package directions.
2. Brown ground beef in pan.
3. While ground beef and pasta cook, combine sour cream, cream cheese, cottage cheese and green onions.
4. After ground beef is browned, drain well.
5. Add herbs de province to ground beef.
6. Add tomato sauce to ground beef and simmer on low.
7. Drain pasta, and add to greased baking dish.
8. Spread cheese mixture over pasta.
9. Pour beef mixture over entire dish.
10. Bake at 325 for thirty minutes.
Notes about this recipe:
1. The recipe is a an excellent one to make ahead and freeze. After baking, place casserole in freezer safe container. That out the day before, or, simply re-heat in oven safe dish.
2. Kids love mixing things up, and the cheese mixture is a perfect example of how they can help with this recipe--especially those that are too young to be near the stove. Older kids can help chop the green onions and keep an eye on the pasta.
3. If your family enjoys this recipe, keep on eye out for sales on ground beef. You can make it ahead of time and save your family money!
4. You can substitute any type of tomato sauce. For example, I often use Huntís Four Cheese pasta sauce in place of the tomato sauce. It usually depends on whatís in my pantry or on sale at the grocery store.
5. Herbs de Provence is a wonderful spice to have on hand. Itís a mixture of rosemary, marjoram, thyme and savory. A little goes a long way, and it really helps bring out the flavor in many recipes.