1. Heat a large skillet on medium- high. Add beef and cook, breaking up with a spatula, until browned and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Drain beef and transfer to a plate.
2. To skillet, heat oil on medium- high. Add onion, carrot and celery; sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. Add tomato paste and garlic; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 45 seconds. Add broth and bring to a simmer, scraping up browned bits. Add tomatoes, Italian seasoning and bay leaf. Return beef to skillet, stir and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Discard bay leaf; season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
3. Meanwhile, boil pasta until just underdone, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain; rinse with cool water and drain again.
4. Pour pasta into an oven-safe 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish. Stir in 3 cups tomato sauce-beef mixture. Top pasta with dollops of cottage cheese. Spoon remaining tomato sauce-beef mixture over top; sprinkle with mozzarella. Cover and refrigerate until completely cool, 1 hour. Wrap dish in foil. Freeze up to 3 months.
5. Preheat oven to 375°F. As oven warms, let frozen pasta sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. (NOTE: Going directly from freezer to oven may cause some glass baking dishes to shatter from heat shock.) Bake, covered, until bubbling and heated to an internal temperature of 165°F, about 1 hour. Remove foil and bake until top is golden brown in places, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Serving Size 1/6 of recipe
- Calories 423
- Carbohydrate Content 40 g
- Cholesterol Content 65 mg
- Fat Content 17 g
- Fiber Content 5 g
- Protein Content 30 g
- Saturated Fat Content 7 g
- Sodium Content 703 mg
- Sugar Content 8 g
- Monounsaturated Fat Content 7 g
- Polyunsaturated Fat Content 1 g