- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium white onion, peeled and chopped, about 1 1/2 cups
- 1 bell pepper, seeded, ribs removed, finely chopped, about 1 cup
- 3 cloves garlic, minced, about 1 Tbsp
- 1 28-ounce can whole peeled or crushed tomatoes
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
- 12 ounces egg noodles
- 1 1/2 cups frozen corn, defrosted
- 1 15-ounce can of black olives, strained and chopped
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 cup corn (cooked or frozen)
- 1/2 cup chopped broccoli (cooked or raw, raw will turn out crunchier)
- 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1/4 cup sliced green onions
- 1 cup cubed ham and/or cooked Italian sausage
- A few slices cooked bacon, chopped
- 1 teaspoon herbes de provence, or other dried herbs, or a Tbsp of fresh chopped herbs such as basil, rosemary, or thyme
- Preheat oven and start heating water: Pre-heat the oven to 350°F and start to heat a large pot of salted water (1 Tbsp salt, 2 quarts water) for cooking the egg noodles.
- Make tomato sauce base: Heat 1 Tbsp of oil on medium high heat in a large, heavy bottomed pot or skillet. Add the onions and bell pepper and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook for a minute more. Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with your fingers or a knife if you are using whole canned tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and let cook for 10 minutes. Lower the heat to warm.
- Brown the ground beef: In a separate skillet, add 1 Tbsp of oil and heat to medium-high. Working in batches, so you do not crowd the pan, add the ground beef, breaking it up with your fingers as you add it to the pan. Do not stir the ground beef, but let it sit and cook for a minute or two until it browns on one side. Sprinkle a little salt over the meat while cooking. Once browned on one side, turn the pieces over to get the other side browned. Once the meat is mostly browned (can still be rare in the center), remove the beef from the pan and add to the tomato onion mixture.
- Sauté the mushrooms: Add the mushrooms to the same pan that you had used for browning the beef, and sauté the mushrooms in the remaining oil and beef drippings. Once browned, add the mushrooms to the beef and tomato mixture.
- Cook the egg noodles: While the mushrooms are cooking, add the egg noodle pasta to the boiling water. Cook as directed, about 4-5 minutes. Strain when cooked, but still a little firm (al dente).
- Add everything to casserole dish: Add the cooked egg noodles to a large (3 quart) casserole dish. (If your casserole dish isn't big enough, you may need to use 2 casserole dishes.) Stir in the tomato beef mixture. Stir in the corn, chopped olives, and about two thirds of the cheese.
- Bake: Sprinkle remaining cheese on top of casserole. Place in the oven. Bake uncovered at 350°F for 30 minutes.
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