Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Fake Lasagna

*** Found in Pampered Chef Celebrate! Cookbook under the title "Party Pasta Bowl" but to me it sounds like a fake, or simple, version of lasagna. Thus the new name.

1 package (16 ounces) uncooked mostaccioli or ziti
1 cup chopped onion
1 pound lean (90%) ground beef
3 garlic cloves, pressed
2 tsp Italian Seasoning Mix
1 jar (48 ounces) spaghetti sauce
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 egg
1 container (15 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/4 cup snipped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
Additional snipped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 35o*. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, cook and stir onion, beef, and garlic over medium heat 8-10 minutes or until beef is no longer pink. Remove from heat; drain. Sprinkle with seasoning mix. Stir in sauce and tomatoes.

In small bowl, lightly beat egg. Add ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, parsley and pepper. Grate Parmesan cheese; set aside 1/4 cup. Stir remaining Parmesan cheese into ricotta mixture.

To assemble casserole, place cooked pasta in casserole dish. Add 6 cups of the meat sauce; mix well. Spread ricotta mixture evenly over pasta. Top with remaining meat sauce. Bake 1 hour. Top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Continue baking 10 minutes or until bubbly. Garnish with additional parsley.

Yield: 12 servings.

* Note in cookbook: To prepare this dish ahead of time, assemble casserole 2-3 hours in advance, cover and refrigerate. When ready to serve, let stand at room temperature about 20 minutes then bake, uncovered, as recipe directs.

*** My Notes: I have not yet tried this recipe. But when I do I will cut it in half, use whatever pasta I happen to have, use store bought grated Parmesan and dried parsley.

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