Hello, and Happy new year! It’s time for some comfort food.
In the kitchen this week is my friend Lesley Lightner with her dump and bake meatball casserole. This looks delicious. It is not only delicious, but it’s simple to make and is a great casserole for leftovers. Just how I like it — one dish meals. This is perfect Lesley. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe with us.
Please send your favorite recipe in and I will put you in the kitchen with Sharon. Send them to [email protected] or call me at 937-393-3456.
Dump and Bake
1 16-ounce Package rotini
1 24- or 25-ounce jar marinara sauce
3 cups water
1 14-ounce package fully cooked miniature meatballs, thawed
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. In a 9-inch by 1-inch baking dish stir together uncooked pasta, marinara sauce, water and meatballs. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes.
3. Uncover and stir. Check pasta to make sure that is al dente. If it is too firm, recover and return to oven for about another 10 minutes.
4. Remove from oven and uncover. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the top and bake, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and the pasta is tender. You can add fresh herbs like basil or parsley to the top. A sprinkling of parmesan cheese is also delicious.
Note: I used the full-sized meatballs because that’s what I had in the freezer. Make sure that they are fully thawed before adding to casserole. Use a good quality marinara sauce. No rotini? Elbow macaroni or penne are good substitutes. Served with a salad and garlic toast/bread and it’s an easy and tasty dinner!
Sharon Hughes is the advertising manager at The Times-Gazette. She is also a mother, grandmother and chef.