The Carol Burnett Show™ on a black-and-white tv, a cold soda in a glass bottle, and your grandma’s famous meal… all are a blast from the past that you will always love! The feel-good and tasty Ultimate Nostalgia Casserole brings back the warmness associated with a trip to grandma’s, and with one bite, you jump back in time! When pasta, ground hamburger, and veggies are held together with a sentimentally seasoned tomato sauce and topped with all that melted cheese, it’s definitely the food-hug from granny that we’ve been longing for. Our emotional attachment to food and good times is found again with Ultimate Nostalgia Casserole. Sit down, grab yourself a plateful, and visit for a spell. Don’t you just miss the good ole days?!

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces rotini
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (14-ounce) jar pasta sauce
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, lightly drained
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar and mozzarella pizza-blend cheese, shredded
  • fresh basil leaves, to taste, for garnish

Directions

Step 1 –Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Step 2 –Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.

Step 3 –In a large pot of salted, boiling water, cook the rotini to al dente, according to the package directions. During the last minute of cooking, add the mixed vegetables.

Step 4 –Drain the water from the pasta-veggie mixture.

Step 5 –In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the ground beef and the onion and cook, while crumbling the meat, until the beef is no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes. Drain the excess grease.

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Step 6 –Add the oregano, the basil, the garlic powder, the salt, and the black pepper to the cooked beef and stir to combine.

Step 7 –Add the pasta sauce, the diced tomatoes, the tomato paste, and the Worcestershire sauce to the beef mixture and simmer, stirring frequently, until it has thickened, about 4-5 minutes.

Step 8 –In a large bowl, add the sauce and the cooked pasta-veggie mixture and stir to combine.

Step 9 –Pour the casserole mixture into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the cheese.

Step 10 –Bake the casserole until it is just heated through and the cheese has melted, about 15-18 minutes.

Step 11 –Serve the casserole garnished with the fresh basil.