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This was a recipe that my Grandma threw together in her kitchen one day during a streak of creativity. It became a family favorite and I have used it for all kinds of events and get-togethers. My grandma passed away a few months ago and I'm sharing this in her memory.
- 1 lb elbow macaroni (or smallish pasta of your choice)
- 2 (26 ounce) cansof hunt's whole canned tomatoes, undrained (I think this is the correct size, just use 2 big cans)
- 2 large onions
- 1 (24 slice) package American cheese (I prefer Kraft Deli Deluxe)
- salt (to taste)
- black pepper (to taste, I prefer freshly cracked pepper)
- 4 tablespoons butter (or enough to spread out pieces evenly between layers) or 4 tablespoons margarine (or enough to spread out pieces evenly between layers)
- Boil macaroni according to package directions until almost al dente. Meanwhile, slice the onions into about 1/4 inch thick slices.
- Drain macaroni and rinse under hot water.
- Spread a layer of macaroni about 1/2 inch deep in the bottom of a large, deep casserole dish with a lid. I've found that glass, stoneware or Corningware works best.
- Lay cheese slices evenly on top of macaroni, tearing slices to fill in holes as necessary. If you like this really cheesy, repeat this layer.
- Spread onion slices one layer thick over cheese.
- Slice tomatoes in half lengthwise and place cut side down onto onion layer.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper sparingly on tomatoes.
- Place small, thin pats of butter or margarine on tomatoes. I don't have an exact amount because I just "eyeball" it.
- Repeat all layers beginning with the macaroni.
- When your casserole dish is almost full or you are out of ingredients pour about 1/3 to 1/2 cup (depending on how much liquid you want in the end) of the juice from the tomato cans evenly over casserole.
- Cover casserole dish and put in the oven pre-heated to 350 degrees.
- Bake 2 hours, or until onions look done and cheese is melted (here's where the transparent casserole dish comes in handy!).
- Remove from oven, let stand about 5 minutes and enjoy!
- NOTE: This casserole has a bad habit of bubbling over in the oven. To contain the mess I either put the dish on an old aluminum foil lined cookie sheet, or I put the foil lined cookie sheet under the casserole dish on the rack below it.