|Photo yoinked from Best Recipe.|
Another cheap and easy recipe, name courtesy of my friend Colene's mom. I make this casserole every couple of weeks and it serves me and the manfriend for three generous meals apiece, at only about $2.50 a pop. You'll need:
1 lb. ground beef (grass fed, I beg you) or ground buffalo
red pepper flakes
24 oz. (1½ bags) whole wheat penne, ziti, rigatoni, etc., whatever casserole-friendly pasta you like
2 jars pasta sauce (I like Trader Joe's tomato basil marinara)
15 oz. ricotta cheese
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
Makes 6–8 servings.
This recipe works great split between two casserole dishes—one for now, one to freeze for an easy dinner at a later date. I use two different-sized dishes, but two 9"x9" dishes or one very large lasagna dish will work just as well.
1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. Brown beef in a sauce pan and drain excess fat. Season with red pepper flakes and salt.
3. Parboil pasta—it will soften the rest of the way as it bakes.
4. Mix beef, pasta, and sauce together. Dole half of it into the dishes.
5. Add ricotta one spoonful at a time, spacing blobs of it on top of the pasta / sauce / beef mix in each dish.
6. Dole the rest of the beef / pasta / sauce mix into dishes, covering the ricotta.
7. Add a layer of mozzarella to each dish. Cover each with foil, putting one in the freezer for later.
8. Bake for about 35 minutes with foil on (if cooking the second dish straight from the freezer without thawing, it will take far longer.) Remove foil and bake until cheese browns, about 15–20 minutes.
9. Om nom nom.