Prep 20 mins
Cook 30 mins
This is a casserole my family can't get enough of. It freezes and reheats well - a great make-ahead meal. I usually serve it with garlic bread and a salad.
- 1 lb ziti pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 ounces ground chuck or 8 ounces ground turkey
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons Italian herb seasoning
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 (10 ounce) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese, Shredded
- Cook ziti in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions. Drain and leave in a colander.
- Heat oil in same pot. Add ground beef and onions and cook over medium- high heat, breaking up beef with a wooden spoon, 4 minutes or until beef is no longer pink.
- Stir in tomatoes, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook 12 minutes for flavor to develop. Stir in spinach and cook 3 minutes longer.
- Remove from heat.
- Heat oven to 375°F Have a 13x9-inch baking dish ready; spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Stir cooked ziti and cottage cheese into spinach sauce until blended. Spoon into baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese.
- Bake 30 minutes, or until top is golden.
- The last time I made this, I had some leftover cheese sauce I needed to use up so I threw it in and it was great! Made a creamier casserole that I actually preferred, but since the rest of the family likes both versions equally, I'm just addding this as a note.
- Here's the cheese sauce if you're intereseted:.
- 2 Tablespoons butter.
- 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour.
- 1 cup milk.
- 1/4 teaspoon salt.
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper (or to taste).
- 1 cup Cheddar cheese.
- 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard.
- Melt butter in heavy saucepan over low heat; add flour, stirring until smooth. Gradually add milk; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened and bubbly. Stir in salt, cheese and dry mustard.
We liked it! I made it according to the original recipe. Next time I will make it with the addition of the cream sauce as it seemed a bit dry. Made for Potluck, please see my rating system as I rate tougher than most.