Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Junk Drawer

I stumbled across a variation of a standard recipe this last weekend that turned out to be really good.  I'm pretty positive I'm a latecomer to the "pasta bake" party but I'm posting this anyway if not for anything else than to help me remember exactly what I did.

I was planning to make spaghetti Sunday evening, an old tired standby of mine. I browned the meat with Tony’s seasoning and went to the pantry to get the spaghetti and saw a new box of ziti. Inspiration struck me out of the wild blue yonder and I decided to do something different. I ran to the grocery store for a box of frozen garlic bread sticks and a package of shredded mozzarella cheese. The following is what I did to switch up my tired spaghetti standard.

Pepper’s Pasta Bake

1 lb ground beef
16 oz box ziti
1 jar Ragu Chunky Tomato, Garlic and Onion spaghetti sauce
2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese

Brown the ground beef with your preferred seasonings. Cook pasta to al dente, drain pasta but don’t rinse. Combine beef, pasta, sauce and cheese in a casserole dish. Bake at 325° for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.

The beauty of this “recipe” is that you can add or change ingredients to suit your own tastes/preferences. Ground beef could easily be ground turkey and the ziti could easily be penne…whatever your hearts desire! If you like lots of sauce use a bigger jar, if you want more cheese get an extra package.

I served it with the now heated garlic bread sticks. It was fun trying something different and really awesome that it was such a hit.


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