Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Sicilian Casserole

While I love the convenience of commercial pasta sauce, I love making my own sauce with tomato sauce.  

In order to get a great tasting sauce, you need to taste it to determine if it is done since tomato sauce tends to be acidic.  The acidity calms down with time as it simmers, but I also add a little brown sugar (1/4 tsp at a time) to the sauce . . . don't forget to taste, that is the secret to great sauce.  

So the cooking time will depend on your taste!


1 pound ground beef
1 chopped onion
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, cubed
3/4 cup milk
1 chopped green pepper
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 7-ounce can tomato sauce
3/4 cup water
1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
2 cups uncooked pasta/macaroni
1/3 cup sour cream 
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese for topping


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. 

Brown ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat, breaking it up as it cooks.  Add onion When the beef starts to render some fat.

Place cubed cream cheese in a microwave-safe medium bowl along with 3/4 cup milk. Microwave 1 minute, then remove.

Whisk to stir the mixture and return to the microwave for another 1 minute. Remove from the microwave and whisk until the sauce is thick and smooth. Set aside.

Add chopped green pepper to the beef mixture when the beef is almost cooked and continue cooking until the green pepper has softened slightly.

Drain the beef mixture and return to the heat.

Add tomato paste, tomato sauce, 3/4 cup water, and 1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning to the drained beef mixture. Simmer over medium heat, stirring until sauce combines and thickens. Let simmer over very low heat while preparing pasta. 

Boil pasta/macaroni in salted water following package directions, until almost cooked.

Drain pasta and add to the cream cheese mixture, along with sour cream and grated Parmesan cheese. Stir until pasta is coated.

Place all of the cream cheese/pasta mixture in the bottom of a 2 quart casserole dish. Top with all of the beef mixture. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese. 

You can refrigerate the casserole until you want to eat.*

Bake the casserole at 350 degrees F for 20-30 minutes, or until the casserole is bubbly around the edges and the cheese on top melts and begins to brown. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
*If you're baking the casserole straight from the fridge, add about 10-15 minutes to the baking time.
Photo and Recipe Source

No comments:

Visit Our Etsy Shop