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Recipe Background

I have four kids who are heavily involved in sports. To say that they are hungry and need to eat a lot is an understatement. I put this Acapulco Pasta Bake together one afternoon in an effort to fill them up before practice. It worked! Not only that, but they liked it, and had seconds. Since my family has to taste test my creations, I often let them name the dishes. My husband came up with the name, Acapulco Pasta Bake, not because it has anything to do with Acapulco, but because... I have no idea. This is not a fancy dish, but if your kids are like mine, it will be a satisfying meal that can be prepared in advance.

Acapulco Pasta Bake

(Prep Time: 20 minutes. Baking Time: 35 minutes)

1 - 1.5 pounds lean ground turkey
1 medium onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound medium sized dried pasta
1 cup cottage cheese
4 ounces cream cheese, softened (reduced fat will work fine)
1/4 cup light sour cream
1/3 cup green onions, diced
1 cup grated shredded cheddar cheese

1. In a large skillet, brown the ground turkey, onion and garlic. When the meat is well cooked and browned, add the tomato sauce, sugar, salt and black pepper. Remove from heat and let cool.
2. Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to package directions and drain.
3. While the noodles are cooking, combine the cottage cheese, cream cheese, sour cream and green onions in a medium sized bowl.
4. Add the creamy mixture to the tomato mixture and then stir in the cooked and drained pasta.
5. Pour the mixture into a 9"x12"x2" casserole dish. Bake covered at 350°F for 30 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle cheese on top, continue to bake for an additional 5-7 minutes or until cheese has melted. This can be made in advance and refrigerated. Baking time for a refrigerated casserole would be an additional 15 minutes.

Serves 8

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