Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cheesy Noodle Bake

If you're like me and tired of almost falling over in shock when the grocery store cashier announces the total, then this is the recipe for you. I've found incorporating a meatless night into your weekly menu slashes your grocery bill and turns your shocked frown upside down :) This tried-and-true favorite has been in my recipe box for years. Miss Picky Pants (Makayla) actually eats this... which I can't say often!!! The original recipe calls for rigatoni noodles, but I've often used penne or ziti. You can't go wrong with noodles and cheese. It makes 2 casseroles, the second one freezing well. I usually serve this with garlic bread and a salad. I hope you enjoy :)

1 package (16 ounces) rigatoni or large tube pasta
2 TBSP butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups milk
1/4 cup water
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour and salt until smooth; gradually add milk and water. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
Drain pasta; place in a large bowl. Add eggs. Spoon into two greased 8-in. square baking dishes. Layer each with one can of tomato sauce, half the mozzarella cheese and half the white sauce. Sprinkle each with half the Parmesan cheese.
Cover and freeze one casserole for up to 3 months. Bake second casserole, uncovered, at 375° for 30-35 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160°.
To use frozen casserole: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Cover and bake at 375° for 40 minutes. Uncover; bake 7-10 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer reads 160°.

Yield: 2 casseroles (6-8 servings each). To use frozen casserole: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Cover and bake at 375° for 40 minutes. Uncover; bake 7-10 minutes longer.


Rachel said...

I know what you mean...the grocery bill can add up pretty quickly! I love the idea of trying to incorporate a "meatless night"--how can you go wrong with pasta and cheese?!?!? It sounds pretty easy and I love the idea of having another casserole to stick in the freezer!

Tiffanee said...

I agree with the grocery bill issue. It is crazy anymore! This casserole sounds delish. I love that it uses stapes I usually have on hand. Thanks for sharing!!

SnoWhite said...

we love meals like these :)

teresa said...

mmmm, perfection!

Donna-FFW said...

Sounds like a most comforting tasty meal!!

the ungourmet said...

I know what you mean. Grocery shopping is insanely expensive!

This looks easy to prepare and economical. Great recipe!

Katy ~ said...

For the two of us it seems the bill is outrageous. I just don't know how people with a family do it.

Macaroni and cheese, a real tummy pleaser!

Coleen's Recipes said...

I really like your idea for a meatless night (or two) a week. I'd love to go totally meatless, but Hubby would vaporize if I did. I know what you mean about prices, have you seen what a bag of chocolate chips costs these days? Its crazy.

Stephanie said...

I hear you!! I try to go meatless a day or two every week. We like breakfast for dinner. Pancakes or egg dishes are always a hit - and cheap! I often make a meatless Spanish rice, too, and serve with cornbread.

This pasta bake sounds delish! I love the layering of a white sauce!

Denise said...

All this needs is some garlic bread and this would be a family fave immediately!!

Ingrid said...

Oh, boy do I know what you're talking about. I go into the grocery store for "milk and bread" and I come out $100 dollars lighter! And I don't even buy any of those preservatives loaded foods. Honestly, cooking fresh healthy food costs waaaaaay more than boxed and canned stuff.

Thanks for the tip about going meatless with some of my meals. My children aren't big meat eaters anyway.

Sweet and Savory said...

This is for me. I love cheese and noodles.