Monday, February 13, 2012

Baked Mostaccioli (perfect for Valentine's Day!)

(sorry for the poor photo quality; even though there are huge windows in this room, it is on the side of the house opposite the sun and there is not enough good light for picture taking)
This casserole is great if you are wanting to make something red for Valentine's Day. Everyone loved it, and it was even yummy as leftovers! The recipe comes from Healthy Cooking Annual Recipes 2009. I have had the recipe for a while, but this is the first time I have made it. It will definitely be a repeat.

Baked Mostaccioli
8 oz. uncooked mostaccioli (I used another tubular pasta that was cheaper)
1/2 lb. lean ground turkey
1 small onion, chopped
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
1/3 cup water
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 cups cottage cheese
1 tsp. dried marjoram
1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Cook pasta according to directions on box. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan cook the turkey and onion until the meat is no longer pink, drain if necessary.
2. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, water, oregano, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
3. In a small bowl, combine cottage cheese and marjoram; set aside. Drain pasta.
4. Spread 1/2 cup meat sauce into an 11 in. x 7 in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Layer with half of the pasta, meat sauce, and mozzarella cheese. Top with cottage cheese mixture. Layer with remaining pasta, meat sauce, and mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese (dish will be full).
5. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until bubbly and heated through (I baked it covered, because my family likes soft cheesy casserole and not hard baked ones).

The verdict is that this casserole got quickly eaten up by everyone, including Remi who will be 2 in a few weeks. It kind of had a lasagna-y feel to it, because of the cottage cheese layer. It went perfectly paired with fresh bread, green beans, and salad.

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