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Freezer-friendly Sicilian Casserole

Originally found at busycooks.about.com we LOVE that this recipe is packed with yummy, nutritious dairy products! Here I've doubled & tweaked the recipe making one to eat now and one to freeze for later.

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Servings: 16

Prep Time: 00:30

Cook Time: 00:35

Main Ingredients

2 lbs ground beef

2 onions, diced

4 Cloves garlic, minced

2 green peppers, dices (fresh or frozen)

6 ( oz) can tomato paste

8 ( oz) can tomato sauce

1 1/2 cup water

(or replace last three ingredients with tomato juice)

2 tsp. dried italian seasoning

4 cups elbow macaroni

2 - 8 16 oz ( oz pkgs) cream cheese, cubed

1 1/2 cups milk

2/3 cups sour cream

1 1/2 grated parmesan cheese, divided

Preparation

1Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a VERY large pot of water to a boil. At the same time, brown ground beef, onion, and garlic in a large skillet. When the beef is almost browned, add the green peppers & continue cooking until beef is done. Drain off grease. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, and water (or tomato juice), and the dried Italian seasoning and stir well to blend. Let it simmer for 10 minutes.

2Meanwhile finish cooking the elbow macaroni as directed on the package. While the macaroni is cooking, combine the cream cheese & milk in a medium bowl. Cook in the microwave on medium for 3+ minutes stirring every 90 seconds until sauce thickens & becomes smooth. After draining the noodles add cream cheese sauce, sour cream, cornstarch, and 1 cup of Parmesan cheese to the noodles. Stir to combine.

3If freezing one pan, line it with aluminum foil. Place half of the cream cheese & noodle mixture in the bottom of each of 2 quart baking pan (usually 9x13 pan). Divide the beef mixture in two and place half on top in each of the casserole dishes. Sprinkle each pan with 1/4 cup more of Parmesan Cheese.

4Bake one pan at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until bubbly. Remove & Enjoy!

5Let the other pan cool a little then place in refrigerator & then freezer until solid. When frozen solid remove from pan and wrap entirely in aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw & reheat, thaw 24 hours in the refrigerator, then bake covered for 25-35 minutes and uncovered for another 5-10 minutes until bubbly.

Additional Notes

Find of delicious dairy filled recipes at newdaydairy.com!

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