1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach
1 jar (16 ounces) spaghetti sauce
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1/8 teaspoon each salt, freshly ground black pepper
1 package (8 ounces) large shell macaroni, cooked and drained
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
2 eggs, well-beaten
1/4 cup salad oil (see notes)
Heat oven to 350° F. Lightly spray a 9-by-13-inch casserole with nonstick cooking spray. In a large skillet, brown the beef and onions; drain. Cook spinach according to package directions. Drain and reserve the liquid.
Meat mixture: Add enough water to the reserved liquid to make 1 cup. Add this to the beef, along with the spaghetti sauce, tomato paste, tomato sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer 10 minutes.
Pasta mixture: In a large bowl, combine spinach with macaroni, cheese, bread crumbs, eggs and oil. Mix well.
Spread pasta mixture into prepared casserole. Pour meat mixture over top. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes.
Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into serving pieces.
Yield: 8 servings
Notes: The original recipe calls for 1 cup oil, which is excessive. Reducing the amount to 1/4 cup still produces good flavor and texture while dramatically reducing calories.