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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Baked Penne With Ground Beef and Tomato Sauce

Total Time: 2 hrs25 mins

Prep Time: 25 mins
Cook Time: 2 hrs


    1 lb ground beef
    4 cups cooked penne (about 3 cups uncooked)
    2 1/2 cups grated mozzarella cheese, divided
    1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (or to taste) 


    3 -4 tablespoons olive oil
    1 large onion
    1 small green bell pepper
    2 teaspoons oregano
    1 teaspoon dried basil
    1 -4 teaspoon dried chili pepper flakes (optional)
    2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
    1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
    1/2 cup dry red wine
    2 (28 ounce) cans plum tomatoes (undrained and chopped)
    1 (14 ounce) can tomato sauce
    1 large bay leaf
    salt and black pepper




 For the sauce; heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat; add in onion, bell pepper, oregano, basil and chili flakes (if using) sauté for about 5 minutes (adding in the garlic the last 2 minutes of cooking).

Add in the tomato paste and stir for about 1 minute.

Add in all remaining ingredients; bring to a boil and simmer (UNCOVERED) on low heat for about 1-1/2 hours.

Season with salt and pepper then remove the bay leaf.

At this point you can cool then refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Set oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a medium casserole dish (or a 13 x 9-inch baking dish).

In a large skillet cook the ground beef until well browned, breaking up with a spoon until crumbled; drain fat.

To the skillet add in about 5 cups prepared tomato sauce (more is okay, or just go ahead and use the whole amount of sauce if desired more sauce will never hurt lol!) cook for about 15-20 minutes on medium-low heat.

Remove from heat and add in 1-1/2 cups mozzarella cheese; stir with wooden spoon to combine.

Add in the cooked penne pasta; toss to combine with sauce and cheese.

Transfer to baking dish.

Bake for about 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese then about 1/2 cup (or more) mozzarella cheese, return to oven and cook 5-8 minutes more or until the cheese is melted.


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