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 :)
CHEESY NOODLE BAKE
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.
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