It almost seems silly to even call this a recipe. It’s basically a “cook some noodles in spaghetti sauce, add meat, top with cheese” kind of idea. Goulash in a casserole dish. Spaghetti with different noodles and turned into a casserole. Ah, but instead of letting you know all of that, I’ll act like it’s a fancy dish called…Italian Pasta Bake.
You’re impressed, aren’t you?
Ah well…simple recipes are what I do best. They’re what my family likes best and they’re easy to make. This recipe also freezes well and is easy to make for company.
Italian Pasta Bake
1 pound ground beef or turkey
1/4 cup chopped onion or 3 Tablespoons dry minced onion
4 cups tomato sauce
2 cups water
2 Tablespoons basil
1 Tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder or one clove fresh garlic
Sea salt to taste
10 ounces whole wheat pasta, any shape (we like bionature brand)
2 cups shredded cheese (we use white cheddar, but you can use mozzarella or any combination of your favorite cheeses)
Brown meat and onion together. Meanwhile, bring tomato sauce, water and herbs and spices to a boil. Stir in pasta and boil until tender. Do not drain. The pasta should have absorbed the liquid! Mix in cooked meat. Salt as desired. Spread mixture into a 9×13 casserole dish and top with cheese. Bake uncovered at 350° for 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and the casserole is heated through and through.
So, do you have a favorite pasta shape? I think picking the shape of pasta for our dinner is kinda fun. Penne, Fusilli, Rotini, even good ol’ Elbow.
Ah the joy of picking pasta shapes. Am I the only one who thinks this is fun?