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Beef and Noodle Casserole

Serves 4 to 6

This casserole recipe came from my mother. It is not as old as most of our family recipes, but a delicious example of Pennsylvania Dutch and German cooking adapted to later food trends.

Ingredients

Preheat oven to 350° F. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the beef. Drain off the excess grease. Add the tomato sauce, garlic, onion, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the cottage cheese, sour cream and chives in a large bowl. Gently fold in the cooked noodles. Season with more salt and pepper as desired. Grease a 13x9x2-inch baking dish with oil or cooking spray. Layer half of the noodle mixture in the bottom. Top with a layer of the meat mixture. Top with half of the cheddar cheese. Repeat the layers with the remaining noodles and beef. Cover tightly with greased or sprayed foil. Bake until hot and bubbly, about 35 minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup cheddar cheese. Return to oven, uncovered, and bake until cheese melts, about 5 minutes. Let rest about 5 minutes before serving.

Notes: Casserole can be assembled early in the day, or even a day ahead, and refrigerated. Bake at 400° for about 45 minutes or until hot. Add the remaining cheese as directed in recipe.