Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Baked Macaroni and Beef Casserole

Jennifer S.

This casserole can be assembled ahead and baked later; if it's
refrigerated, increase baking time to 30 minutes.IF Frozen bake 60-90 minutes.
Easily doubles!

3 ounces elbow macaroni
8 ounces lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated

If baking right away Preheat oven to 350o F.
In large pot of boiling water, cook macaroni 8-10 minutes, until tender. Drain, discarding liquid; set aside.
In large nonstick skillet, cook beef, stirring to break up meat, 4-5 minutes, until no longer pink. Remove from heat; set aside.
Spray medium nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray;
heat. Add onion and bell pepper; cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, 5 minutes, until vegetables are softened. Add tomato sauce, parsley, basil, thyme, black pepper and reserved beef; cook, stirring frequently, 3 minutes, until heated through. Remove from heat.
Add cooked macaroni to beef mixture; stir to combine.
Transfer mixture to 1-quart baking dish; sprinkle with cheese. Bake 20 minutes, until bubbling and slightly browned on top.

Or cover with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate until ready to bake, remove plastic wrap or foil before baking. To freeze cover with plastic wrap and foil. Freeze up to 2 months. To bake, remove plastic wrap and foil, replace foil and bake 60-90 minutes, remove foil last 15 mins of cook time to brown top.

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