My family spends most afternoons outside visiting with our wonderful neighbors. The kids are playing catch, riding their scooters, or building a fort in the woods, while the parents sit and chat or walk behind the parade of bikes. It is truly a heavenly time that reminds me of storybook neighborhoods.
As much as I enjoy that time in the fresh air building relationships, sharing community, and letting my kids play with their friends–it can interfere with my dinner plans. Often times, I find myself corralling my starving kids and realize dinner is NOT ready or even started yet.
I often resort to my slow cooker for dinner during the busy week, but sometimes I forget. Or have to rush out the door before I have time to set it and forget it.
I start my cooking my pasta while I prep a salad or veggies to serve along the pasta. Then I just mix it with my favorite tomato sauce that I have stashed in my freezer (but any good quality jarred sauce works) and mix it with an egg, shredded cheese, and cottage cheese. The cottage cheese and egg give this dish a creamy texture that create an almost lasagna like taste.
While the rotini bakes, I help the kids shower and set the table. Sometimes I even shower myself! Then we sit down as a family and dig into our pasta and savor the comfort–while often times in our PJs!
The best part is this dish makes such a large dish that I have leftovers to pack in thermos containers for lunch the next day!
I hope it becomes a go-to in your family as well!
- 1 16 ounce whole wheat rotini noodles (or ziti, rigatoni, etc)
- 4 cupshomemade or jarred spaghetti sauce
- 2 cups cottage cheese
- 1 egg, whisked
- 2 cups shredded cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, Parmesan or a mixture)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cook pasta according to package directions in salted boiling water.
- Drain and mix together with sauce, cottage cheese, egg, and 1 cup of shredded cheese.
- Pour into a large 9x13 pan or casserole dish and top with remaining cheese.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly.
- Alternatively, you can prep this dish earlier up to baking. Add 20 minutes to baking time if coming from fridge.
*Or really get a heads start to dinner and prep this dish up to baking. Add 20 minutes to baking time if coming from fridge. You can also freeze for 2 months. Prepare for some event like wedding. Thaw out overnight before baking.
Looking for other easy family dinners? Check these out:
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