This recipe today is one of those economical dishes that is not only quick and easy to make but which are real family pleasers. The original recipe comes from a cookery book that I have had since I was seventeen years old and since I am now sixty-one, that is a very long time! This is truly a recipe which has stood the test of time!
My last year in High School there was an offer in a magazine to purchase the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook library. You would get one book a month, which would arrive via the post, which you could then pay for at a fair price by return post. I collected all of the volumes.
This one comes from the volume entitled, "Good Food on a Budget." I have adapted it a bit through the years by adding some oregano and onions to the sauce, and the way I layer it together. I like to have the cheese on the top. In the original recipe they have the sauce on the top.
I have also cut down the servings of the recipe because there are only two of us now in this house and one of us is not a real pasta lover. SO instead of serving 6 to 8, it now serves 3 to 4.
Other than that it is basically the same recipe as the original. It is quick and simple to make and goes together in a flash. It is also a dish which most people love. With its hearty meat sauce and simple cheese filling/topping it is a real pleaser! All you need on the side is a salad and some garlic bread if desired.
You will want to use a sausage in this that has plenty of flavour! Over here I favour Cumberland Sausage because it is nice and peppery, but you can use whichever sausage meat you like. A sweet italian would go very well.
*Mock Lasagne Casserole*Serves 3 to 4Printable Recipe
A smaller sized casserole for a smaller family. Can easily be doubled.
1/2 pound well flavoured sausages, skins discarded and meat crumbled1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped225ml tomato passatta (1 cup, tomato sauce)60ml water (1/4 cup)1/2 tsp each dried basil, dried oregano, onion powder, garlic granulessalt and black pepper to taste100g dry macaroni (Uncooked, 1 cup)175g cottage cheese (3/4 cup)90g grated four cheese blend
Brown the sausage meat and onion in a heavy bottomed skillet. Drain fat off. Add the tomato sauce, herbs, seasonings, etc. Stir in the water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. Cook the macaroni according to the package directions. Drain well.
Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5. Butter a small casserole dish.
Layer in the ingredients as follows: 1/2 each macaroni, meat sauce, cottage cheese, four cheese blend and then repeat, ending with sheese. Bake for half an hour. Serve hot.
Because the passata/tomato sauce for this is such an integral part of the recipe, you will want to use one which has nice flavours. I use Cirio and I know you must be tired of me saying this, but it is a well favoured Passata made with only the finest fresh Italian Tomatoes,ensuring that your dishes will have a full bodied and rich Italian flavour! It also comes in a new PET bottle which means you can use as little or as much of it as you like, simply popping the lid back onto the bottle and refrigerating the rest for another day, which works well for this recipe which basically only uses 225ml/1 cup of passata/tomato sauce. The PET bottles are also recyclable and unbreakable. I used the Passata Classica for this recipe.
I really hope you will give this a go and that if you do your family really enjoys it. Bon Appetit!
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