Monday, May 16, 2011

Minute Meal Mondays

This is a new series I am going to start, and try to do for the next 4 weeks. The goal is to post a new recipe for a quick, easy, AFFORDABLE, meal, that is not only tasty, but also nutritious, that you can get made up quickly for those Manic Mondays!

Rapid Rotini Casserole

Serves 4-6 depending on serving size. ;)
Ingredients needed
1 14-16 oz. jar of tomato sauce, or the equivalent of your own homemade sauce
1/2 cup sweet potato or carrot puree (or both, or neither...I used a jar of sweet potato baby food!) This is just for added nutrition, you don't taste it at all!
1 lb of whole grain rotini pasta (penne, rigatoni, or mostacolli all would work as well.)
1 lb ground beef, browned (I had this pre-cooked and in a baggie in my freezer.) You could leave this out all together as well, change the amount or sub ground venison, ground turkey, or even pork sausage and it would still turn out well
Any extra veggies you want to add...I didn't add any because we didn't have any on hand that my kids and hubby like...peppers, onions, squash, zucchini, carrots, mushrooms, or celery would all be good additions if your family likes them! :)
1 cup of water
1 large bowl filled with very hot water from the tap
spaghetti seasonings of choice...I used garlic powder, dried basil, and dried oregano...fresh would be good too!
4 oz or about 1/2 a bag of shredded mozzerella cheese (more or less to your taste, or can be completely omitted, or you could sprinkle with paremesean.) I used an 8 oz. block and sliced it because my shredded was in the dishwasher, but I would have only used 1/2 if I would have shredded it.
9x12 baking pan...I used glass

Ok, that took a long time to read, I promise it's super fast to make though! Pre-heat your oven to 400. Put your pasta in the bowl of hot water. Mix your meat, seasonings, puree, sauce, any veggies you want to use and 1 cup of water together in the 9x12 baking dish. Now, drain your pasta and add the pasta to the casserole dish as well...don't worry if you don't get quite all the water out. Mix the pasta into the sauce, top with grated cheese, cover with foil and put in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Check to make sure veggies and pasta are tender by poking with a fork. Remove the foil for the last 5 minutes of the baking time if you want the cheese to brown, allow to cool for approx. 5 min after taking it out of the oven, then serve and enjoy!

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