~~ MACARONI LASAGNA ~~
1 pound ground beef + 1/2 pound Italian sausage
2 generous cups of dry pasta (macaroni or other short-cut)
1 jar of alfredo sauce + (possibly) milk to thin a little
1 lg onion
1 finely grated carrot
1 finely chopped celery
4-6 minced mushrooms
1 chopped bell pepper
2-3 cloves minced garlic
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried (1 TBS fresh) oregano
1 tsp dried (1 TBS fresh) basil
1 tsp fresh rosemary
1 28oz can tomato sauce + 1 6oz can tomato paste OR 1 28oz jar spaghetti/marinara sauce + 1 6oz can tomato paste
Parmesan Cheese (or any combo Italian cheeses you like, really)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Start the pasta according to direction (don't forget to salt your water!), pulling it just a hair shy of al dente
Warm through the alfredo sauce with just a touch of milk (3 TBS or 1/4 C) in the saucepan.
Brown meat (beef and Italian sausage). Drain fat if desired. Add bay leaf and mushrooms and give them a head start b/f adding the rest of the veggies--onion, carrot, pepper, celery, bell pepper, and garlic . When tender, add the herbs and S&P. Add the spaghetti/marinara sauce and tomato paste (or tomato sauce and tomato paste with an additional 1/2 tsp of each herbs and S&P) and just a little beef broth to make it nice and thick but spoonable.
When the pasta is done, drain the pasta, and replace back in the pot. Sometimes I have a creamy cheese (ricotta, mascarpone, even goat) I'll toss in the pasta (sometimes even an ounce of cream cheese!). Then I'll pour the alfredo sauce into the pasta and stir to combine. Sometimes I'll add about a 1/2 cup of mozzarella and/or a handful of parmesan cheese if I'm in a particularly cheesy mood!
I rub olive oil in my casserole/baking dish (about 3 qts). I put enough red sauce to coat the bottom of the dish. Then I'll drop some pasta onto the red sauce, smooth it out. Then I put on a layer of mozzarella and/or parmesan cheese (or any other Italian cheese which strikes your fancy!), and I repeat the layers 'til the top layer is cheese.
If I am directly cooking from stovetop to oven, it only takes about 15 minutes to heat all the way through. If I made the layers and chilled it, it will take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour to bake. If it has been frozen, I would think a lower temperature and even longer cooking time might be in order.
Hope you enjoy it! :)
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