December 22, 2015

Dump and Bake Meatball Casserole

This recipe caught my eye on Pinterest because of the ease of putting it together. Anything entitled "dump and bake" has to be (a) quick (b) something kids would eat and (c) cheap. Since these are basically my three main components for recipe selection, I decided to give it a whirl. Overall, I will say that the recipe delivered. My only hitch with it was that the noodles over-cooked and were a tad too squishy. I am an al dente pasta lover, so super-soft noodles are not my jam. However, my kids appreciated the noodle texture and ate it like gangbusters (whatever that means). I think I would make this again, but reduce the cook time to get a more al dente pasta within the casserole, if that is possible. It's homey and comforting, and it will please the littles in your house. I did not get a pic, but you can use your imagination skills and envision what it looked like on the plate or in the pan (or just go to the linked website...there is a nice photo of it on there).

Dump and Bake Meatball Casserole
From: Pinterest-

16 ounce rotini pasta ( uncooked )
25 ounce marinara sauce ( jar )
3 cups water
14 ounce meatballs ( package fully-cooked miniature, cocktail-size meatballs - if using frozen meatballs, make sure that )
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded ( or Italian blend )
To taste parmesan cheese ( optional for garnish )
To taste basil ( optional, fresh chopped herbs - such as basil, oregano, and parsley for garnish )

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
In a large baking dish, stir together uncooked pasta, marinara sauce, water, and meatballs. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover; stir. Sprinkle mozzarella over the top and bake uncovered for 10 more minutes (or until cheese is melted and pasta is tender).

I used dried herbs instead of fresh. I am cheap like that. And lazy.

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