Lasagna Casserole

You know, ugly things get kind of a bad wrap. Where would the world be without hairless cats, Donald Trump’s hair, and decidedly unphotogenic casseroles?
pasta lasagna
Newt wanted lasagna after church on Sunday. Lasagna is pretty easy, really, but I wanted to streamline it a bit. I just wasn’t in the mood for fussing with the layering. I took all the basic ingredients, substituting macaroni for the lasagna noodles, dumped it in a dish and called it good.
Walt and Newt called it good too, when we sat down to eat.
This dish may not be the prettiest girl at the ball, but it sure has a great personality.

Lasagna Casserole
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
This casserole won't be winning any beauty contests, but it tastes great and it's even better for lunch the next day. Even with making your own sauce, it comes together pretty quickly.
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 2 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 Tbsp dried basil
  • 2 Tbsp honey (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups dry macaroni
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Begin by preparing your homemade pasta sauce: Heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion and saute until translucent, then add garlic. Cook until slightly brown.
  3. Add ground beef and cook until browned.
  4. Stir in herbs, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. If you prefer a sweeter sauce, add honey.
  5. Salt to taste and simmer while you prepare pasta. (Tip: if you have time, simmer longer, up to an hour or so. The longer you simmer, the better the flavor.)
  6. Cook pasta in boiling water until just al dente. Drain and mix pasta with sauce. Add 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and stir to combine.
  7. In a separate bowl, mix ricotta and Parmesan cheeses. Spoon into pasta and stir slightly. (You want the ricotta to stay somewhat clumpy.)
  8. Pour into a greased casserole dish and top with remaining mozzarella.
  9. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.
  10. Serve with a big green salad and a crusty bread.

 

5 Comments

  1. My mom used to make something like this (and now I do, too). We started out calling it “Fake Lasagna”, but my brother couldn’t pronounce Lasagna properly when he was little, so he called it “Fake Pajamas” which is what I call it to this day. haha. It’s even more fun to use the wacky mac brand pasta with the fun shapes & colors (plus it is often super cheap with coupons).

    Reply
    • I love that you still call it fake pajamas! So much fun.

      Reply
  2. I make a very similar dish call Lasagna Toss with small shell macaroni. One of my favorites! :)

    Reply
  3. You know, if you wanted to make this really very pretty, and you wanted to teach a lesson in fresh pasta, you could make it into a Timpano – a pasta drum.

    Make thin-ish sheets of fresh pasta and line a large oven proof bowl, then fill it with the pasta-sagna, cover with another thin-ish sheet of fresh pasta, seal appropriately, and then cook till you feel pleased with it. I think it’d need to be a bit crusty on top, and a bit more sauce-y in the middle bits.

    Once it cooled and solidified a bit, you could serve it in slices like pie. That’d be gorgeous.

    Reply
    • That sounds amazing.

      Reply

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