Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lasagna Casserole

1 lb campagnelle (curly pasta)
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb ground beef, pork, and veal mix
1 carrot peeled and grated
1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves grated
black pepper
1 (28oz) can Italian plum tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, shredded or torn
a handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, a couple of handfuls

Bring a pot of water to a boil. When it boils salt the water liberally, add the pasta and cook just shy of al dente 6 to 7 minutes; there should still be a good bite left to it.

While pasta water comes to a boil heat the EVOO in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground meat and break it up into small bits; brown it lightly 3 to 4 minutes. Add carrots, onions and garlic; season with salt and pepper; cook for 5 to 6 minutes to soften. Add tomatoes to the pan and use a wooden spoon to crush them up. Add the stock. Simmer for 15 minutes, then fold in the basil and parsley.

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Drain the pasta and place in a large bowl. Add the sauce and ricotta cheese and mix well, then transfer to a casserole dish and top with the Parmigiano cheese. Bake for 15 minutes to get the top a bit crusty. Serve with a green salad that you can prepare while the pasta is in the oven.

We used just a pound of ground beef, fresh tomatoes and add some tomato sauce. I add the tomato sauce because when use fresh tomatoes, there is no juice from the can and for these recipe the juice is needed for the sauce. James isn't a big fan of ricotta cheese, so we used cottage cheese instead. I also add Italian seasoning and paprika to the meat. I had some leftover cheddar so that went into the mix too. We also add mushrooms into the mix.

This came from Rachael Ray's Just in time! It's one of her 60 minute meals.

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