Thursday, January 11, 2007

Pizza Casserole

Decided to make another dinner today. But I think I'm starting to get lazy. There are a couple reasons: I made garlic bread for the side dish, and salad to go with it... and it was a casserole. Oh no! Have I become a lazy chef? I sure hope not, let's just say that this laziness is just an experiment.

Anywho, I decided to make this casserole because during the holiday I recieved a free copy of the Taste of Home cooking magazine. Apparently I had signed up on their website or something, and in the issue they sent it said that if I wanted to continue recieving their magazine I would have to pay. The long and short of it is, I'm cheap... so this is going to be my first and only Taste of Home magazine. So, seeing that I was only going to get this single issue I was determined to make something from it, and the pizza casserole seemed simple enough.

I set to work and prepared to make the casserole. The recipe said it serves 8 people but looking at the ingredients and the portion size disgusted me. So I reduced the recipe by 1/2 and it fed my family of 5.

Pizza Casserole
Original Recipe: Serves 8 (2 casseroles) <--- crazy!

3 cups uncooked spiral pasta (I used macaroni... everyone loves macaroni)
2 lbs ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
2 (8 oz.) cans mushroom stems/pieces, drained
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (14 oz.) jar pizza sauce
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon each: sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano (I put tons of oregano, my favorite herb)
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 package (3.5 oz) sliced pepperoni
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
2. In Dutch oven (or non-stick frying pan), cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Drain out fat.
3. Stir in mushrooms, tomato sauce, pizza sauce, tomato paste, sugar and seasonings.
Note: When halving the recipe I decided to annex the tomato paste. So I used 1/2 a jar of Classico pasta sauce. If following this recipe, you can substitute the tomato sauce + tomato paste for one jar of Classico/Ragu pasta sauce.
4. Drain pasta; stir into meat sauce.
5. Divide half of the mixture between two greased 11-in. x 7-in. x 2-in. baking dishes.
6. Sprinkle each with 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers and top with pepperoni and Parmesan cheese.
7. Cover and bake at 350ยบ for 20 minutes.
8. Uncover; bake 10-15 minutes longer or unti heated through.

No comments: