Pasta Bake with Cheesy Meat Sauce
16 oz penne, macaroni or rotini pasta, cooked to package instructions
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
½ cup sour cream
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
16 oz cottage cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1 lb lean ground beef OR ground sausage, or mix the two
1 red bell pepper, diced
24 oz pasta/marinara sauce
Kosher salt to taste
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease 13×9 inch baking dish.
In a bowl, beat eggs, then add parsley, sour cream, parmesan cheese & cottage cheese, stir to mix evenly. Set aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil. Add garlic & onions, cook until softened & fragrant, about 1 minute. Add ground meat and cook for about 2 minutes. Add bell peppers & cook for 2-3 minutes, or until ground meat is cooked through. Remove from heat & add pasta sauce, salt & pepper. Stir until everything is combined well & set aside.
Spread a thin layer of the meat sauce mixture in the baking dish. Add half the cooked pasta in an even layer, then add half of the cottage cheese mixture, spreading it evenly across the pasta. Add half of the mozzarella cheese evenly on top. Add the remaining half of the pasta, and then add the remaining half of the cottage cheese mixture.
Pour the remaining meat sauce mixture on top and spread it into an even layer on top of the casserole. Add remaining mozzarella cheese in an even layer over top.
Bake 30 to 45 minutes or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned on top. Allow casserole to cook about 5 minutes before serving.
From prep to table 1 hour