NZ Woman's Weekly

Martha’s vineyard casserole

Martha’s vineyard casserole
  • Meal Type

    Beef
  • Total time

    90 minutes
  • Servings

    8+
  • Courses

    Dinner
  • Occasion

    Special occasion

Ready in 1 hour and 30 minutes, serves 8 to 12.

This recipe makes a large casserole – perfect for entertaining. A friend made it for me one summer at Martha’s Vineyard on the East Coast of the US. Ever since it has been a firm favourite of mine. Serve with a mixed green salad.

  • 375g pasta shells
  • 250g sour cream
  • 125g cream cheese
  • Small bunch spring onions
  • Handful parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 6-8 cups meat sauce*
  • 1 cup aged cheddar cheese, grated

1. Cook the pasta according to the packet directions in a large pot. Drain and add the sour cream and cream cheese to the pasta.

2. Leave for a few minutes and then gently stir through. Add the spring onions and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. In a large, greased 3L casserole dish put a layer of pasta. Top with meat sauce and repeat. Sprinkle grated cheese over the top to finish.

4. Bake for 40 minutes. If you make the casserole the day before and keep it in the fridge, you will need to heat it for longer – allow 60 minutes. It is delicious made the day before – the  avours are enhanced with resting. Season with salt and pepper.

*For our meat sauce, we cooked 700g of mince with 3 cloves of garlic, 1 chopped onion, basil and oregano to taste, followed by 3 cups of chopped mushrooms, a 400g tin of tomatoes and a good slosh of red wine. Cook slowly for 20 to 30 minutes. If it gets too dry, add a little more wine, water or beef stock, but the meat sauce should not be too sloppy. You can also cook 700g of mince with a jar of commercial tomato pasta sauce if you prefer.

About Annabelle White

Annabelle was born and raised in New Zealand and while she does not have formal chef’s training her love of “great honest cooking” came from watching her mother cook every day after school.

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