- 12 to 14 ounces uncooked penne pasta
- 1 pound ground beef or ground turkey
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 16 ounces cottage cheese
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 jar (24 ounces) red pasta sauce
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Boil the pasta according to instructions on packaging.
- Meanwhile, brown the ground beef, breaking it into small pieces as it cooks. Stir in the Italian seasoning before the meat is done cooking. Drain the grease, if needed. Set aside.
- Drain the water from the pasta and return it to the pot. While the pasta is still warm, add the cream cheese and cottage cheese and gently stir until combined.
- Layer a 9x13 pan (or two 8x8 pans) with half of the pasta mixture, meat, and pasta sauce. Repeat. Add shredded cheese on top. (See below for freezer instructions.) Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes, until warmed through.
Preparing for the Freezer:
- Right after topping with cheese (and before baking), cover with few layers of plastic wrap. Then cover with foil. Label and freeze.
Prepare after Freezing:
- Thaw for about 24 hours in refrigerator, unwrap and bake as usual. Or keep frozen, unwrap, then re-cover with one layer of foil. Bake covered for about 30 minutes at 300 degrees. Remove foil and increase oven temperature to 350. Bake for about 30 more minutes, until cheese is melted and filling is bubbling and warmed through.