Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Danielle's Meat & Spinach Casserole

My campus minister's wife, Danielle Sweeney, used to make this casserole for us on Thursday nights. Many college students would descend upon her house during the freezing Vermont winters and this was a very satisfying dinner for all! She was also famous for having a chocolate layer cake under her glass cake stand in the kitchen and she always put chocolate chips in the batter so it was incredibly decadent and delicious!This is my favorite recipe to make for families who have just had a baby because it's very comforting!

2 lbs ground turkey or beef
1 1/2 tsp your favorite seasoning salt
1 tsp ground pepper
32 oz marinara sauce
8 oz elbow or rotini macaroni
3 10 oz pkgs chopped frozen spinach (thawed & drained)
2 c. sour cream
1 c. parmesan or romano cheese, grated

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brown the meat in a skillet. Add salt, pepper & marinara sauce. Cook pasta until slightly under cooked. Rinse and drain, add to meat mixture. In a 9x13 pan, layer the meat mixture, a layer of spinach, a layer of sour cream, then sprinkle with cheese. Repeat the layering process. Bake at 350 degrees until brown & bubbly (usually about 30 minutes). Pairs perfectly with a big salad! My secret to getting my kids to love it is that I used fresh spinach, pulsed it in the food processor and added it to the meat to cook. That way they never knew it was there!

*for Feingolders, this is stage two and you would need to make a stage one sauce to sub for the marinara to make it stage an un-tomato sauce.

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