Quick, Delicious and Easy

It was Saturday morning and we were planning out our day.  Our daughter was in the school musical and needed to be back at the school by 12:00 p.m. for the 2 p.m. show. 
OK, wait back track…  we got home Saturday morning at 12:30 a.m. from the Friday night performance with two car loads full of 16 year old girls that were going to sleep over.  Now back to Saturday…..  Pancakes were made, fruit was cut up and 7 girls emerged from the basement. Once everyone had departed, we had to take our daughter and a friend back to school by 12:00.  We wanted to stop by the local home improvement store to price out some items for our bathroom remodel and we needed to have a dinner plan so that we could be all done, cleaned up and out the door at 6:00 p.m. to go to the final performance.  Out of the stack of must try recipes came the  Quick Beef and Cheddar Casserole from Food Network.
Well, we had run all of our errands, dropped off the girls at school, picked up our daughter’s artwork from the Scholastic art show and then returned home after a stop at the hot dog stand and then the frozen yogurt store mid afternoon.  My wonderful husband (he likes the shout outs!) said he was going to  head to the gym for about an hour because if he stayed home he would of fallen asleep.  Once he returned he would make dinner.  Well, 4:15 p.m. rolled around and no hubby yet, so I got off the couch and started dinner.  And it was quick, easy and delicious!  This would be great for a week night.  Give it a try! 
Oh, the show was even better the second time around!

Beef  and Cheddar Casserole


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the baking dish
Kosher salt
3 cups wide egg noodles (about 5 ounces)
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
12 ounces ground beef
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 bunch scallions (white and green parts), finely chopped (save some greens for top)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
One 14 1/2-ounce can petite diced tomatoes or 1 can of Rotel tomatoes
2 cups grated Cheddar


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Oil a 2-quart baking dish.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook to al dente according to the package directions. Drain and put in the prepared baking dish. Toss with the sour cream, Parmesan and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Add the bell peppers and scallions and cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Make a space in the pan, add the tomato paste and toast for a minute. Sprinkle with the Italian seasoning and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add the diced tomatoes, stir and bring to a simmer. Cook until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.

Pour the beef mixture over the noodles and sprinkle with the grated Cheddar. Bake on the middle rack until the cheese is melted and the edges are bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle on reserved greens from scallions.

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