Friday, May 29, 2009
I seem to have exceptionally poor timing when planning my baking nights lately. I live in London, and on any given day the temperature recently has been fluctuating so greatly that I never really know if it will be somewhat chilly or swelteringly hot. As it turned out, tonight was one of those very hot evenings when the last thing I felt like doing was switching on my oven. Of course, that wasn't really very practical, since I already had all of the ingredients ready to go for tonight's meal, so I toughed it out.
I had been inspired by some droolworthy photos I had seen on Precious Moments of a pasta bake she and a friend had made together one night. There was no recipe posted, so I did my best to interpret the ingredients from the before and after photos on her site. I then added my own ideas and I was very happy with the result.
Loaded Pasta Casserole (inspired by Precious Moments)
8 ounces spiral shaped green pasta
8 ounces rigatoni
1 pound ground beef
1-2 tsp olive oil
1-2 tsp garlic, minced
1 cup orange sweet pepper, seeded, finely chopped
Lawry's seasoned salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2-3 cups spaghetti sauce, approximately
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, approximately
2 large beefsteak tomatoes, chopped
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
I cooked about a pound of pasta total, mixing two different colored pasta shapes (green spirals and white rigatoni). While the pasta was cooking, I browned a pound of ground beef in a skillet with a touch of olive oil. I used very lean meat, so there really wasn't a lot of fat to drain off. Once the meat was browned through, I added about a cup of finely chopped orange sweet peppers (which I seeded first) and about a teaspoon or two of fresh minced garlic. I also added some seasoned salt and pepper. I let this cook while I drained the pasta and chopped up some fresh tomatoes, about 2 large juicy beefsteak tomatoes.
Next, I poured a bit of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a 9x13" glass baking dish, then sprinkled the meat mixture on top. I spooned another bit of sauce on top of the meat, then added the pasta noodles. I put the rest of the sauce on top of the noodles, then sprinkled the chopped tomatoes and about a cup of shredded mozzarella cheese all over the top. I tucked in a few sprigs of fresh rosemary from the garden and popped the casserole into a preheated 180C /350 F oven for about 30 minutes, uncovered.
at 4:41 PM Posted by Heatherfeather