1 medium (1/2 cup) onion, chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh garlic
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 (14 3/4-ounce) can beef broth
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano
8 ounces frozen fully cooked meatballs
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning*
2 ounces (3/4 cup) uncooked dried mini lasagna noodles (mafalda)
1 1/3 cups Italian-seasoned croutons
Melt butter in 3-quart saucepan until sizzling; add onion and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, 3-4 minutes or until onion is softened. Stir in flour. Add beef broth, tomatoes, meatballs, tomato paste and Italian seasoning. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, 5-7 minutes or until mixture comes to a boil.
Add noodles. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a boil (3 to 4 minutes). Reduce heat to low. Cover; cook 14-16 minutes or until noodles are tender.
Heat broiler. Ladle meatball mixture into four ovenproof serving bowls. Sprinkle 1/3 cup croutons on top of each serving; sprinkle with cheese. Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.
*Substitute 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves, 1/4 teaspoon dried basil leaves and 1/8 teaspoon rubbed sage.
- Casseroles can also be made in a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish. Prepare as directed above.
- Diced tomatoes already seasoned with basil, garlic and oregano are great timesavers. But, if you can’t find them, just substitute a 14 1/2-ounce can of plain diced tomatoes. Add 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves and 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder.
- Tomato paste can now be purchased in a tube at your local grocery store.