This is something my mom made occasionally. The name is a misnomer as it is very casual and certainly nothing fancy that I would reserve for company. I think of it as more of an easy and tasty casserole that everyone in your family can enjoy. I can’t think when I last made it; perhaps 4-7 years ago? Anyway, I had all the ingredients and had just come across the recipe and so I thought, “Why not?” So, I did and it was very tasty indeed. My mom put some melted butter on before the tomato and meat sauce; I forgot it and honestly don’t think it needs it but add 2 tbsp melted butter at that point if you wish.
I left out the green pepper; didn’t have it and didn’t even remember it in the flavor profile of the casserole. I used spiral pasta as wide gf noodles are impossible to easily find and I didn’t have time to make them. I am sure you could make this with some other ground meat; it would taste different but probably be yummy.
As I show below, I adjusted the amounts of the cheeses and sour cream due to what I had on hand and it was delicious. this flexibility is handy and you can play with the amounts as you need to. I feel that without the scallions it will be rather dull tasting but you could sub in some lightly sautéed chopped onions or scallions. Even sliced and cooked leek would work.
It should feed six hungry folks. I served mine with a green salad on the side. It was a filling meal for sure!.
Apologies for the mediocre pictures; I was in a hurry and didn’t much think about the blog so I barely took any.
½ lb uncooked wide noodles or spiral shaped pasta
1 Tbsp. olive oil or butter
1 lb of ground beef
16 ounces of tomato sauce
1 beef or veggie bouillon cube
1 cup cottage cheese (I used more – 1 ¼ cup as I had less cream cheese)
4-8 oz cream cheese at room temp (I used 3 oz)
1/4-1/3 cup sour cream (I used heaping 1/3 cup)
1/3-2/3 cup sliced scallions; white and green
1-2 Tbsp. chopped green pepper (optional)
2 Tbsp. melted butter (optional)
Directions: Cook the noodles or pasta according to the directions; I did 2 minutes less that package as I was going to bake this for 45 min. Drain. While it cooks; heat the oil or butter in a large frying pan and brown the meat. Be sure to break up any clumps so it is evenly sized. If there is a lot of fat when you are done; drain most of it off. Then add the tomato sauce and the broken-up bouillon cube; stir to mix.
In a medium bowl blend the two cheeses and the sour cream. Then add the scallions and green pepper.
Heat oven to 375 degrees, middle shelf. Spray a 2 qt casserole with cooking spray. Pour in half the noodles. Top with the creamy cheese mixture. Then top with the rest of the cooked noodles. If you want the butter sprinkle it on now. Top with the tomato meat sauce. You can refrigerate this for up to 48 hours at this point. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Enjoy!