This recipe was actually an accident...I had planned on just plain ole spaghetti but discovered I was out of spaghetti noodles. Hmmm....what to do? So I looked around at what I had on hand...certainly wasn't going to load up the whole clan just to go get spaghetti noodles!
So, I just kinda threw something together and this ended up being one of the most popular recipes I have ever done. Seriously.
Now, it does take some work in the kitchen...not really a 15 minute meal, but it is good, wholesome, and produces happy faces with plenty of leftovers for tomorrow night! Happy Cooking!
Cheesy Baked Pasta
This is a three part recipe: meat sauce, white cheese sauce, and baked pasta. An inexpensive recipe that has delicious results!!
2 cups pasta sauce
1 pound ground beef; optional (can substitute turkey)
3 cups macaroni or ziti pasta
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
grated nutmeg to taste
salt/pepper to taste
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Fill large stock pot up to 2/3 full and bring to boil. Brown ground meat in skillet; add salt/pepper to taste. When water is at a rolling boil, add pasta. While meat is browning and pasta cooking, put cream in a sauce pan over med heat. Shred cheddar and mozzarella cheeses and set aside. Add pasta sauce to ground meat to heat through. Once cream is at a slight simmer, add half of the shredded cheeses. Stir to thicken and melt cheese. Add freshly grated nutmeg, pepper, and Italian seasoning to cheese sauce. Check pasta, strain and add to meat sauce. Pour pasta and meat sauce into a 2 qt baking dish. Pour cheese sauce over the pasta; no need to mix in. Top with the remaining cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes until warmed through and the cheese is golden on top. Serve with salad.
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