Saturday, October 8, 2011

Cheesy Italian Meatball Casserole

Some days quick and easy is as good as it gets. Fall brings festivals, fairs and fun things to do outdoors, placing cooking "complicated" recipes on the "back burner" (pun intended!). Bring out the commercial pasta sauce, frozen meatballs and whip up this warm and cozy casserole in a flash! Three steps and you're done!
Cheesy Italian Meatball Casserole
16 ounces dried ziti or penne pasta
1 (26-ounce) jar tomato pasta sauce
1 (16-ounce) package Italian-style frozen cooked meatballs (32), thawed
1 (15-ounce) can Italian-style tomato sauce
15-ounce carton ricotta cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 ounces)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Return to pan. Stir in pasta sauce, meatballs, and tomato sauce. Transfer to an ungreased 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish or 3-quart rectangular casserole. Bake, covered, in a 350 degrees F oven for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine ricotta cheese and Parmesan cheese. Uncover pasta mixture and spoon ricotta mixture in mounds over pasta mixture. Cover loosely; bake about 10 minutes more or until heated through. Top with mozzarella cheese and bake, uncovered, for 5 minutes more. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

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