Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Hamburger Noodle Bake

I have been hosting my parents for Christmas dinner for the past few years, and until this year I made a big turkey dinner.  Now, this year I thought that I would change it up a little bit.  One of my favorite meals from my "other life" was one that my former MIL would make, Hamburger Noodle Bake.  It is very similar to lasagna, but I think, more delicious. My parents both loved it, and it certainly freed up my day, so I could enjoy it with my family instead of slaving away in the kitchen all afternoon!  Also, I put it together earlier in the day, set it aside, and then just baked it off at dinner time.

So here's the deal.  You will need:

1 lb ground beef
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp sugar
2 15 oz. cans of tomato sauce
8 oz. extra wide egg noodles
1 med. onion, chopped
1 package cream cheese
1 c. ricotta
1/4 c. sour cream
1/2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
salt and pepper

Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees and start by browning your meat in a large saute pan over medium heat.  I used a 93/7 so I started with a touch of olive oil in the pan since it was so low in fat.  Season with salt and pepper, and once the meat is brown, drain off any fat and add the sugar, garlic, and tomato sauce.  Bring this to a simmer, cover, and leave it for 25 minutes.  

 Next start a large pot of water boiling, add a bunch of salt, and once it's rolling, add your noodles.  It's about 2/3s of a regular package.  While they are all cooking away, you can mix your other ingredients together.  Soften the cream cheese so it mixes, and add the ricotta, sour cream, and onions.  Make sure it's a pretty big mixing bowl because you need room to add the noodles as well. 

Once the noodles are cooked al dente, drain them, and add them right away to the cream cheese mixture.  Stir it all together and put half of it in the bottom of a 2 qt. casserole dish. 

Ok, now, once your sauce is finished cooking, you can add half of it on top of the layer of noodles.  Next add the rest of the noodles, and the rest of the sauce on top.  Lastly, you can sprinkle your cheese right on top, and put it in the oven. 

Sorry that we were so excited to dig into dinner that I forgot to take a picture of it all hot and bubbly out of the oven, but here is what it looked like once we had devoured it!  It was totally delicious last night, and again today for lunch.  Pair it with a green salad and some yummy bread and you have a killer, easy dinner.  Enjoy!