I was given this recipe while I was doing my student teaching! It's one of my favorites. I have found that I prefer it with lower fat versions of sour cream and refried beans. You can also increase the zing by adding: chilies or jalapenos to the sour cream mixture. Serve with guacamole, lettuce, fresh tomatoes, etc. Can be made in advance and refrigerated/frozen.
Combine beef, beans and spices in a large bowl.Place 4 uncooked noodles in the bottom of a 13x9 baking pan. Spread ½ meat mixture over the noodles. Top with 4 more noodles and remaining meat mixture. Cover with remaining noodles.
Combine water and picante (salsa). Pour over the entire contents of the baking pan. Cover tightly with foil. Bake at 350° for 1 ½ hours or until noodles are tender.
Combine sour cream, onions and olives. Spoon over casserole. Top with cheese. Bake, uncovered until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.