Monday, 27 February 2012

Cheese, Beef, and Noodle Casserole

Now, I know this site is called the BAKING Bluenoser, but on occasion I like to try my hand at the cooking side of things. I would say I am still a novice when it comes to cooking, but practice makes perfect so here I am, practicing away!

Pasta is something I enjoy making because it's just so simple and there aren't a whole lot of ways you can completely screw up. This recipe combines pasta, cheese, and beef which are all delicious in my books so I was pretty pumped to make this. This picture does not do this meal justice at all. It smelled delicious coming out of the oven and it was just as tasty to eat. This is a recipe that is relatively simple, and would be good for even a picky eater!

Another great thing about this meal is that it makes a TON! If you're dining on a budget, this dish will make lots of good meals for at least a couple days. I don't know about you, but sometimes there are just days when I don't feel like making anything, and it's always nice to open the fridge and remember that you have leftovers just waiting to be eaten up!

Cheese, Beef, and Noodle Casserole 
Cook Time: 35 mins         Yields 6 servings (1 1/2 cup serving)

2 tsps olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
3/4 lb lean ground beef
4 cups cooked whole wheat penne
2 cups marinara sauce
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1) Preheat oven to 375 F
2) Heat oil in a 2-quart flameproof casserole dish (I cooked the ingredients in a skillet and transferred it to the casserole dish when it was ready for the oven). Add onion, garlic, and pepper flakes. Cook, stirring continuously until the onion is softened, about 5 mins.
3) Add beef, cook until browned, about 10 mins.
4) Stir cooked penne, marinara sauce, 1/2 cup of Monterey Jack, and parsley into beef mixture. If you cooked your ingredients in a skillet, now is the time to transfer the mixture into your casserole dish. Spread evenly, and sprinkle the rest of the cheese over your mixture. I added a bit more cheese so I'd have a good layer on top :)
5) Put casserole in the oven until cheese is melted and bubbly around the edges, about 20 mins.

(Recipe adapted from WeightWatchers One Pot Cooking)

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