Beef and Tomato Pasta al Forno

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Winter isn’t quite over yet apparently. Now they are calling for 10-16 inches of snow tomorrow! Although the birds seem to think it’s Spring by their behavior. I have even spotted a couple of robins! I always feels so bad for them when they come this early because at this point, there is no bare ground! There is probably at least a foot of snow on the ground still. Everyone, including myself, is oh so ready for winter to be over. The frost heaves are a killer (can’t go over 20 mph on the whole island!), the snow is tiresome and we are all pale as ghosts! Okay, I apologize, enough complaining!

Onto this wonderful, hearty dish. I had to share it before winter was officially over. My kids are totally in love with this dish. Anything that involves pasta, my daughter is immediately drawn to. This dish is easy to put together and makes a wonderful meal on a cold evening. I like to add ground hamburger because that is usually what we have most of, but you could do ground sausage, or bite-sized chicken pieces, or eliminate it completely. It’s totally up to you! You could even toss in some diced peppers or zucchini. Play around and see what you and your family like best.

Beef and Tomato Pasta al Forno

  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2-14 oz. cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lb. pasta (penne works the best)
  • 8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1- 1 ½ lbs. hamburger

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400º. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. Set aside.

Heat the oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add the hamburger. Cook, stirring occasionally until the hamburger is browned. Drain any fat. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, oregano and italian seasoning, and simmer rapidly, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Toss the cooked pasta with the meat sauce. Place half of the pasta in the prepared baking dish. Cover with half of the parmesan and half of the mozzarella. Top with the remaining pasta, parmesan and mozzarella. Bake, uncovered until the cheese is melted and slightly bubbly, about 15 minutes.

Source: Slightly adapted from Annie’s Eats

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