Tuesday, July 28, 2009
This casserole dish has all the ingredients of a traditional lasagna, except for the big lasagna noodles. I use campanelle noodles, which are wide and curly but require no layering...just mix them in with the rest of the ingredients.
One thing I really love about casserole dishes, is that they make excellent leftovers. So, I usually make a regular size batch even if it's just me and the kiddos b/c I know we can have the rest the next day.
Makes 6 servings
1 pound campanelle (curly-shaped pasta)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound ground beef
1 carrot, grated
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 28-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes
1/4 cup basil leaves, chopped
1/2 cup of flat-leaf parsley,chopped
1 cups ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup (a couple of handfuls) Parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Start by preheating the oven to 375 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then add pasta. Cook according to package direction to "al-dente".
In a bowl, combine ricotta, mozzarella (1 cup), basil, parsley, salt, pepper and oregano. Mix to combine ingredients, then set aside.
In a large non-stick skillet add the olive oil, carrots, onions and garlic. Cook for a few minutes till onions turn soft and garlic becomes fragrant. Then, add ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Drain the beef fat and return to the stove. Add tomatoes, reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 10-12 minutes.
Then, add the cheese to the beef and mix to combine all ingredients. Transfer to a casserole dish and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan. Put in the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes or until top is gold.
Here it is right out of the oven. Now this is what I call comfort food---YUM!