A great make ahead dish that can be frozen and popped in the oven at any time. I made four small casseroles out of this recipe, which fed four people each. Approved by my grandkids, who are two and five years old! Honest deliciousness!
Ingredients (Serves 8 to 16, Based on Appetite):
- 1 – pound Wild Idea Premium Ground Buffalo Meat
- 1 – tablespoon olive oil
- 1 – teaspoon salt
- 1 – teaspoon black pepper
- 2 – teaspoons oregano
- 2 – teaspoons fennel, crushed
- 2 – teaspoons basil
- 2 – teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 – 14 oz. jar pizza sauce
- 1 – 1 pound bag penne or ziti pasta, cooked al dente
- 8 – ounces mozzarella or cheddar cheese, chopped or grated
- ½ - cup parmesan, grated
- Italian parsley, fresh basil or green onions for garnish
- In a pan over medium high heat, add oil and heat, then crumble in ground buffalo and add the dry seasonings. Push the meat around the pan breaking it up and incorporating the spices. Continue to cook until the meat is browned.
- Add the jar of pizza sauce and stir to incorporate. Remove from the heat.
- Place the cooked pasta in a large bowl and add the meat sauce and the mozzarella cheese. Toss to incorporate.
- Transfer the pasta mix to a lightly buttered casserole pan or divide between smaller pans.
- Cover the pan with foil and bake in a 375° preheated oven for 30 minutes. *If baking a frozen pan, extend cooking time to 45 minutes.
- Remove the foil from the pan and top with the grated parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered until the cheese is melted and the top is slightly browned.
- Serve immediately and accompany with a vegetable salad.
Photo Credit: Jill O'Brien