From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is a great casserole to keep in mind for game day. It is one of those easy, economical and rib stickingly good meals that is loved by hungry men and teenagers around the world. The casserole, with its crisp edges and bubbling cheese, resembles those pasta dishes that come from the ovens of neighborhood trattorias. There is no trick to making this basic beauty. Any tubular pasta can be used and while I think the zucchini adds a lovely crisp texture to the dish, any vegetable can be used in its place. Ground turkey or sausage can replace the ground beef and if you are feeling really adventurous, swap provolone for the mozzarella called for in the recipe. The only constants in this recipe should be the use of fire roasted tomatoes. They add some heat to the dish and take it up a notch or two without adding fire to the belly. I do hope you'll give this recipe a try. This baked pasta is a perfect meal to serve on Frugal Foodie Friday. Here is how the casserole is made.
Baked Pizza Pasta...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Muir Glen Test Kitchen
1/2 lb extra lean ground beef
1 cup chopped sweet onion
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 (14-1/2 ounce) cans fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
8 ounces tubular pasta, cooked and drained
3/4 cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
1) Heat oven to 375. Spray a 2 quart rectangular baking dish.
2) Cook beef, onion and garlic in a non-stick skillet set over medium heat, stirring frequently, until cooked. Add zucchini and cook 2 minutes longer.
3) Stir in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper. Heat to boiling.
4) Add pasta and toss to combine. Spread in prepared dish. Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake uncovered, about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Yield: 6 servings.
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