David Venable's Cheesy Cheeseburger Casserole
From In the Kitchen with David by David Venable
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 16-ounce package elbow macaroni
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup (8 ounces) ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) sour cream
- 1/3 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1/3 cup chopped scallions
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Cheddar
- 1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded mozzarella
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Preheat the oven to 350º F.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon of the salt to the macaroni and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, 7 to 8 minutes. Drain well.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and onion and cook, stirring, until the beef is well browned. Carefully drain the fat from the skillet and stir in the tomato sauce, the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer over a low heat while preparing the remaining ingredients.
Combine the ricotta, sour cream, bell pepper, and scallions in a medium bowl. Spread half of the pasta into the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish. Top with the ricotta mixture, then the remaining pasta. Pour the meat mixture over the top. Sprinkle with the Cheddar and mozzarella. Bake the casserole until the cheese is melted and lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the parsley before serving.*
*Dishin’ with David – Let them be for ten minutes
Recipes often tell us to let meat or casserole “rest” for ten minutes before carving or serving them. If you cut into the cheeseburger -- or any -- casserole when it comes right out of the oven, the pieces will be runny and won’t hold together. By allowing casseroles to sit for a bit and reabsorb some of the melted cheeses and liquid ingredients, the food will hold together for easier serving.
And those casseroles are hot. Too hot to eat when they come right out of the oven. So let them be for ten minutes before digging in.
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