Sicilian Casserole

Ingredients:
1 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 green bell pepper (chopped) - I leave this out, because I don't like them
1 6oz can of tomato paste
1 15oz can of tomato sauce
3/4 cup water
1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
2 cups elbow macaroni
8 oz package of cream cheese (cubed)
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 to 3/4 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Brown ground beef heavy saucepan, stirring to break up ground beef. Drain the ground beef when almost cooked through. (The beef will finish cooking once the onions and garlic are added.) Add onions and garlic and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add tomato paste, tomato sauce, water and Italian seasoning and stir well to blend. Let simmer for 10 minutes to blend flavors.

Meanwhile, cook elbow macaroni as directed on package.

While macaroni is cooking, combine cream cheese and milk in medium bowl. Cook in microwave on medium power for 2-3 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking. Remove from microwave and stir with wire whisk until sauce thickens and blends to form a smooth sauce.

Drain noodles and add to cream cheese sauce along with sour cream and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese; stir to combine.

In a square baking dish, place all of cream cheese mixture. Top with all of the ground beef mixture Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Sprinkle Mozzarella cheese on top and bake another 5-10 minutes until melted.

I usually freeze half of the casserole after baking. When we're ready to eat the leftovers, I just re-heat the thawed casserole in a saucepan, adding a little milk. Everything ends up mixed together, but it still tastes really good.

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