I don't know about you but I love a good filling meal I can prepare ahead and just cook when ready or pull from the freezer and bake if I don't feel like the whole cooking thing after work some nights.
This Noodle Bake is one of those meals. I double the recipe and use the handy dandy foil freezer containers to prepare a couple for the freezer at the same time. If you are cooking for a crowd this is great to prepare ahead and have in the fridge to serve with a salad and garlic bread.
These are great if you know someone needs some meals in the freezer for a later time or you are going away and want to leave food for the grown up kiddliewinks!
I think of these like a lasagna and create myself a bit of a production line. First I make the meat sauce then do the creamy noodles and then just assemble.
500gm mince beef
700ml jar of passata (tomato sauce)
1 onion finely chopped
1 clove garlic grated/minced
salt and pepper to taste.
250gm egg noodles
1 1/4 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
4 spring onions chopped
1 cup grated tasty cheese
Dice your onion.
In a fry pan with a splash of oil brown your mince.
Add your chopped onion and minced garlic. Stir through to combine.
Stir through your passata and allow to simmer.
I love to use Egg noodles for this recipe, I love their texture, they do not go mushy.
How cute are these little bundles?
As I use Fettuccine for this and just break the little bundles into smaller strands. Cook your noodles in salted boiling water and cook for 2 minutes less than the instructions on the packet. They are going to keep cooking in the oven.
Chop up your spring onions, both the green and white bits.
In a bowl combine the sour cream, cottage cheese, salt and pepper.
Mix together thoroughly and combine the spring onions.
Drain your noodles and stir through the sour cream mixture until fully coated.
Here comes your production line! Put a layer of noodles in the base of our baking dish or freezer pan.
Put a layer of the meat sauce over the noodles.
Add a layer of grated tasty cheese.
Repeat these layers. Always finish with a layer of the tasty cheese as you want a melty crispy cheesy topping!
At this stage if you are freezing you would allow to cool completely then top with the paper lids and freeze. I always write the instructions on the paper lid so that A. I know what's in it and B. the men in my house can sort of read instructions so they can tell what where when and why.
If your preparing this ahead for dinner you can stick it in the fridge and cook later.
If baking straight away cook at 170C for 20 minutes as it will still be hot. If cooking from the fridge same temp just cook for 30 minutes. If from frozen for 40 minutes.