Just as April showers bring May flowers, Spring burning helps keep invasive weeds, trees and brush from taking over the grass. It also helps add nutrients to the soil which makes the grass better for the cattle, helping them gain more weight, and baby calves will grow up strong and healthy.
This is a dish that transports well, so I often take it to the guys when they can’t get home to eat, like when they are working cattle or burning pastures in the Spring. I love to work ahead, so I usually double this recipe and make two casseroles; it freezes well and that gives me a back up meal for later. From frozen, I prefer to thaw it in the fridge 8-10 hours, then bake, uncovered, as the recipe directs, allowing for a little extra time, if needed.
1 loaf buttered garlic bread, cut into 1 inch thick slices
8 oz. cream cheese, sofrtened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 lb. frozen cooked meatballs, thawed (can be either beef or pork, or a combination of both)
28 oz. jar pasta sauce
1 cup water
In a greased 9 x 13 pan, arrange bread slices in a single layer, buttered side up; set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and place meatball quarters onto a baking sheet; heat meatballs, uncovered, on center rack for 10 minutes, or just long enough for them to render their fats; drain fats and let meatballs cool. When meatballs are cool enough to work with, cut each meatball into quarters and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese with mayonnaise, italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes; gently spread this mixture over bread in casserole dish; sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella.
In another mixing bowl, combine pasta sauce with water; stir in meatballs, then spread this mixture over casserole. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake, uncovered, on center rack of oven, for 30-35 minutes, or until hot and bubbly throughout and golden brown on top.
Now You’re Cookin’,
Now You’re Cookin’,