Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Here's a quick casserole while I prepare my acceptance speech
--Atalissa Pizza Casserole

Atalissa Pizza Casserole
The All-American Truck Stop Cookbook Copyright 2002

1 pound lean ground beef, browned and drained I cooked the meat with the onion, pepper and garlic
1 small onion, chopped
1/3 green pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (4-ounce) can mushrooms, drained
½ cup chopped pepperoni
½ cup sliced black olives
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
2 cups cooked noodles I used Dreamfield penne and more than 2 cups
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon basil
1/8 teaspoon oregano
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Mozzarella cheese, for topping

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together, except the mozzarella. Pour the mixture into a casserole dish and bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Maybe because I cooked the vegetables with the meat, I didn't need to cook this as long. When done, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and let melt.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

I know, almost every casserole I make looks the same. My husband took one look at this and said 'I love that' and I asked him how he knew that since I had never made this recipe before last night. Yeah, I'll give him a break - I have made similar casseroles. Hey, I'm feeding a 3-year old here. I have to keep it real.

This was very good and certainly had that pizza taste but it was way too salty. I usually keep the actual salt out when there are so many other salty ingredients but I forgot this time. I was also a bit heavy handed on the Parmesan cheese, thanks to my new handy-dandy Microplane. I've been wanting one of those for so long but Amazon was nevering offering free shipping for these when I looked and I rarely get into a good kitchen supply store. I finally got my hands on one and I can't believe I've lived this long without one. That has got to be one of the handiest kitchen gadgets - a must have for anyone who uses citrus zest or Parmesan cheese. Well worth the $12.99 I paid.

I love this cookbook but I wish all of the recipes were scaled down to family proportions. So many of them can literally feed a truck stop full of people. It's still kind of fun though, even though I've never eaten at a truck stop in my life and I practically drive by a very good one every day.

Now for some shocking news - I'm on the list for the Blogger's Choice Awards. How exciting! Okay, there are hundreds of food blogs on the list but it doesn't take much to make me feel special. I'm going to look at this with the same competitive spirit I had during high school track and field and cross-country - I don't want to come in last! I always considered myself a winner if there was at least one person crossing the finish line behind me. If nobody votes for me, I'm going to have to break down and vote for myself.

Blast From The Past: Creekside Spanish Rice, also from this cookbook, from October 2006.

Question of the Day: Do you make many casseroles?


Unknown said...

I don't make that many casseroles. Just easier to do separates with one-two person-people. BTW, your link to the Bloggers' Choice takes you to a microplane picture!

Anonymous said...

Yea Paula! I just spent about 10 minutes figuring out how to register and get confirmed just so I could vote for you. I LOVE your blog!

I don't make casseroles very often. DH thinks he doesn't like them but if I call it "Goulash" then he loves it! I'm putting this on my "must make" list cause I know my boys and DH will love it.

Brilynn said...

I love my microplane, I don't know how people live without them...

sandy said...

Good luck...I'll vote for you if I can get registered.


Anonymous said...

I just bought a Microplane this past weekend!
Don't make many casseroles as they are usually full of carbs and I am trying to watch that.
And I too, love your blog so I'm off to vote.

Red Dirt Mummy said...

I make lots of casserole-y type dishes - I love that yoy think this one looks like the others you make. I have that problem too LOL.

Congrats on the nomination! How cool is Jen??? I already thought she was such a nice person but this takes it up another notch!

The Cookbook Junkie said...

Thanks, Jen, not just for the vote but for the nice comment you left too. That's all I needed to feel like a 'winner'. Although, I hope I can get at least one more vote by October LOL!

I didn't even try to register yet myself.

Anonymous said...

I love to make casseroles but yeah, carbs are a problem with most of them. This one sounds delicious and I'll be making it for Friday night when we are having guests. Two guests are teenage boys, so this should be just the thing to fill them up. Thanks!


Anonymous said...

I just voted for you and now your blog and my blog are tied :)
I keep meaning to go over there and vote for all of my favorite food blogs, but keep forgetting.

Wanda said...

I used to. I really love casseroles. But now DH is normally away during the week, and some weekends, so I don't cook much at all. And I don't enjoy cooking like I used to, so when I HAVE TO cook, it's something extremely simple, quick and easy. The truth is, I like reading about cooking much more than I like actually cooking. LOL!

Anonymous said...

I made the Pizza Casserole tonight. You're right.....it was delicious. But, was I correct in using two cups of COOKED pasta? Your picture looks like it might have more in it. Just wondering.


The Cookbook Junkie said...

Darn, Jan, I need to fix this. As you probably know, I almost always end up adding more pasta to casseroles.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reply. Believe it or not, I made this two nights in a row (it's a long story). The first night I made it exactly as the recipe. The reason being - I tend to change recipes and sometimes regret it, so now I try to give it a shot, at least. The next night I doubled the pasta. Both were excellent, just a matter of preference