3 Cheese Italian Casserole January 31, 2014

     With all the cold weather we've been having, it's so nice to make something hot & hardy to warm the belly.  This casserole is always a favorite in my house, so I thought I'd share it with you!

3 Cheese Italian Casserole

16 oz rigatoni (cook noodles according to package directions, strain & set aside)
1 lb lean ground beef
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp basil
1 tbsp fennel
1 tsp sea salt
24 oz can Hunts Spaghetti Sauce (or sauce of your choice)
2 cups grated mild cheddar cheese
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

Cook your noodles according to the package directions, strain them, and set aside.  In medium sized frying pan, combine the hamburger & all the spices together.  Cook for approx. 15 minutes or until hamburger is cooked through.  Pour in spaghetti sauce, and add an additional cup of water to the mixture.  This makes a basic meat sauce for your casserole.  Next, layer it up like you would lasagna starting with some spaghetti sauce in the bottom of your baking dish, then noodles, cheddar cheese, parmesan, and then repeat starting again with your sauce. You can get 2 – 3 layers in your pan depending on the depth of the dish you use.  Top it with the mozzarella cheese, and bake uncovered in your preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour.  You will be so glad you fussed!  Enjoy!