This rich casserole has a secret crunchy topping

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Beef and noodle casserole might seem like the oldest trick in the book, but it perseveres for a simple reason: It tastes good! The recipe that follows stands out thanks to a few special secret ingredients. Canned creamed corn adds both texture and flavor, with a rich creaminess and a hint of sweetness that plays really well with the sharp cheddar cheese. Corn is featured in the topping too, with crushed corn chips standing in for more traditional breadcrumbs.
Fusilli works well as a pasta shape for this casserole, because the ridges in the little corkscrews easily soak up all of the sauce. But feel free to choose a different pasta if you prefer. Penne, rigatoni or even tortellini would all be delicious substitutes.
Cooktop Cove
Creamed corn with beef
10 minutes
1 hour
1 hour 10 minutes
1 pound ground beef
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound fusilli or other short pasta
1 tablespoon butter
2 (15-ounce) cans creamed corn
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup cream cheese
2 cups cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup Fritos, crushed (optional)
Heat oven to 350 F.
Cook the beef and in a large skillet over medium-high heat, breaking up the beef with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Season with salt and pepper.
When the beef is browned on all sides, add the garlic and sauté 3 to 4 minutes more, until aromatic. Set aside.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions.
Drain and toss with the butter in a bowl.
Add the cooked beef mixture, the creamed corn, the sour cream, the cream cheese, and half of the cheddar. Toss well to combine.
Spread the mixture out in a 9-by-13 casserole dish.
Top with the remaining cheese. Add the crushed Fritos (optional).
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until bubbly and browned.
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