Baked Pasta

We love pasta dishes because the leftovers usually reheat really well.  Because of this, I make variations of this recipe once a week.  It is super easy!  After a day at work, I can count on this because its really simple and I always have the ingredients on hand – no planning ahead required.   Because there are only 2 of us, I normally bake 1/2 and freeze half for later.

Baked Pasta yields 8 large servings

1 pound small dried pasta ( I used bow-tie)

1 pound of ground beef

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 red or green bell pepper, chopped (optional)

1 large clove garlic, finely minced

1 jar prepared pasta sauce of your choice or approximately 3 cups homemade sauce

1-1/2 cup ricotta cheese

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a large casserole dish (9×13 or 3 quart) or 2 small casserole dishes (8×8 or 1.5 or 2 quart) with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

Brown ground beef with onion, garlic, and bell pepper .  Drain fat.  Add pasta sauce and crushed red pepper and simmer while pasta cooks. Once, pasta is cooked and drained, add it to the sauce  and stir to coat.

Spread 1/2 of the pasta in the bottom of the casserole dish or dishes.  Dollop tablespoons of ricotta cheese over that and then cover with remaining pasta.  Bake covered with foil for 20-25 minutes, then uncover and sprinkle with mozzarella and bake for 10 more minutes.

Serve with a tossed salad and garlic bread and enjoy.

Thaw the frozen pasta in fridge for 8 hours or overnight before baking.  It may take a little longer to bake.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Menu 1-31-10 « EASY AS PIE!
  2. Trackback: Homemade Tomato Sauce « EASY AS PIE!

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