Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Beef and Vegetable Pasta Casserole

This recipe started with one I found in a cookbook, but I made enough changes that I am comfortable calling it mine. This was yet another that I was not sure about, but we all really loved it. It's really simple. It turned out to be bigger than I expected, such that the whole casserole would not fit in my 9 x 13 pan and I had to use a 1.5 qt Corningware for the extra, but there was only one serving left and Mark claimed it for his lunch tomorrow. Wow. My kids eat soooo much lately. I have a teenager daughter and two sons eating their way toward their teens, so maybe I should not be surprised.

The recipe (Note that none of these measurements need be exact. This is a casserole, not a soufflé.)

2 tsp olive (or your favorite) oil
1 lb lean ground beef
1 red onion, diced
1 green (or red or yellow) pepper, diced
2 cans diced tomatoes (I look for the no-salt added.)
1 cup beef stock
1 lb whole wheat penne (or your favorite pasta, but use something whole grain!)
2 zucchini, sliced into bite sized pieces
1 cup of frozen peas (I think frozen peas and carrots would go well here, too.)
Your favorite shredded cheese. I used mozzarella.
About 1/2 tsp each of dried basil, parsley, rosemary, thyme. (You can use whatever herbs you like. These worked well.)

Preheat oven to 400. Cook pasta according to package directions, except cook a little al dente since it will finish in the oven. In the meantime, cook the beef, onion, and pepper in a large skillet. Drain any fat. Add herbs, tomatoes, and beef stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.

Stir in pasta, zucchini, and peas, then carefully pour into a large baking dish. Either sprinkle cheese over the top or stir it into the mix. (The next time, I will mix it in rather than leaving it on top so there's cheese in each bite. A small amount would go a long way, I think.)

Bake for 10-20 minutes, or until heated through and cheese is melted and browned if you like it that way.

Yummy, healthy, filling... I will make this again!


1 comment:

Mandy said...

This sounds really good! Thanks for stopping by my blog. . .let me know how the black bean soup turns out with the dry beans in the crockpot, I may try it that way next, too!