9/18/08

Ravioli Style Casserole

For a few years when the children were small I bought canned Spaghettio's. After they started school I just stopped buying canned pasta. I didn't buy it for the next few years until we moved to our current city/state and I returned to work outside the home. With the kids at home during the summer while I was at work I wanted them to have a variety of lunch choices; sandwiches, burritos, quesadillas, macaroni and cheese, soups, pasta, hot pockets, etc. I bought a few cans of the ravioli style pasta because it was on sale and I thought perhaps it would be filling for my (then) 12 year old son as well as easy to cook in the microwave.

It was, and he loved them. The bigger surprise is that in the last 6 months or so my oldest daughter has come to like them too (probably a good thing as she goes to college next Fall and may be living on canned pasta and ramen noodles! LOL).

My family doesn't really care for casseroles and they have never really been met with enthusiasm in our household but with the cold weather setting in soon and the cost of groceries being sky high we may need to resort to some good old fashioned heart Midwestern 'casseroles' (or 'hot dish' if you are from Minnesota) that use (cheap) dry pasta and ground beef.


Ravioli Style Casserole

1 lb ground beef
1 lb elbow macaroni
1 family size tomato soup
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1/4 onion, finely diced
3 cups shredded colby/longhorn cheese


Brown ground meat in a skillet, continually chopping the meat so it is very small. Add the celery and onion half way through cooking. While the meat/vegetables continue to brown, cook the macaroni according to box instructions. Drain.

Mix the meat and pasta with the tomato soup and a half can of water. Spread in a greased 9x13 casserole dish. Sprinkle cheese until top is all covered. Cover with a lid or foil and bake at 350 about 35-40 minutes until heated through. Remove the cover for the last 5-10 minutes of baking until the cheese is golden brown.

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