Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Mock Lasagna

This casserole has always been a hit with my family. I usually double the recipe so we'll have leftovers.

Pasta: Mom always made mock lasagna with elbow macaroni, but medium shells work really well, too. And they are easier for small hands to stab with a fork.

Meat: You can substitute ground beef or turkey for part or all of the sausage, though sausage makes a more flavorful dish. My favorite version is half sausage/half beef. 

Cheese: The original recipe called for Velveeta. I have used combinations of cheddar and Velveeta, or cheddar and mozzarella. Follow your instincts. ;)

This is a convenient make-ahead or crockpot dish. Just allow for extra heating time if it's been in the refrigerator.

Mock Lasagna

  • 7-8 oz. dry pasta
  • 1 roll (12-16 oz.) bulk sausage (or ground meat) 
  • 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes, optional
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. basil
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 1/2 c. cottage cheese
  • 1 1/2 c. (6 oz.) cubed cheese 

While the pasta water comes to a boil, brown and drain the meat. Add the tomato sauce and seasonings. Simmer 10-15 minutes. Boil the pasta; drain. 

My mom's recipe says to layer some meat sauce, half the pasta, and half the cheeses in a baking dish. Repeat, ending with more sauce. This makes for a pretty presentation, especially in a glass casserole, but it tastes just as good stirred all together. Try it both ways and see which you prefer!

Bake, uncovered, 20-30 minutes at 350 F, till edges are bubbly. 

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