Meatball Casserole – An Edited Entree

 

I’ve been holding off on trying the Meatballs in Marinara Sauce because I wasn’t personally fond of the lunchtime tortellini entree (although DH likes it well enough).  I’ve taken the plunge tonight, with inspiration from The Seasoned Mom’s “Dump and Bake Meatball Casserole”.

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Ingredients (2 servings)

2 oz dry macaroni pasta (by weight)

3/4 cup water

3/4 cup strained tomatoes

3.5 cups* chopped vegetables  (onions, mushrooms, blanched carrots**, zucchini, red pepper, spinach, etc.)

2 pkg NS Meatballs in Marinara Sauce Dinner Entree

1 clove garlic, minced (or 1/2 tsp garlic powder)

1/2 tsp dried basil (or 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning)

dash hot sauce

1 mozzarella string cheese**

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2 oz macaroni (dry)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F;
  2. Mix everything except the cheese in an oven-proof casserole dish, making sure that the pasta is poked down into the liquid;
  3. Cover.  If you don’t have a lid for the casserole, cover tightly in aluminum foil;
  4. Bake for 30 minutes;
  5. While the casserole is in the oven, pull the string cheese into strips, then cut to form shreds;
  6. Remove, mix.  Scatter cheese over top;
  7. Return to oven and cook, uncovered, another 15 minutes.
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Ready to cook

This was good!  DH gave it a ‘Husband-Highly-Approved’ rating.

The pasta was still a bit crunchy when I took the dish out of the foil, but it was nicely done when the dish came out of the oven the second time.

I’m sorry for so many ‘Meal in a Bowl’ items, but that’s what the food seems to lend itself to!

Notes & Comments

The macaroni is in place of the small roll suggested with the Meatball entree.  I was actually how much there seemed to be of it.

* I realized later that I had only used 2 cups of vegetables.  It was enough, tonight, but there should have been 3.5 or so cups of raw vegetables to give the full 2 servings, with the strained tomatoes.

** Make sure that you either blanch hard vegetables like carrots, though, or cut them very small if you are using fresh, because they were tendercrisp at the end.

***The mozzarella string cheese was 60 calories, according to the package, so this works out to 2 Extras.

These are the strained tomatoes I used.  They come in a nice, resealable bottle, which is great when you only need a small portion at a time!img_0125

By my calculations, 1 serving works out to 1 NS Dinner, 2 servings of Vegetables & 1 Extra.

 Bon Appétit, folks!

Northern Sunset

 

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