Thursday, February 22, 2007

Baked Shells with Pesto, Mozzarella, and Meat Sauce

Here is another recipe from that same 'quick from scratch one-dish meals' (although this one takes 3 different pans to prepare in my opinion! But it is still fairly easy to prepare)

1 T cooking oil
1 onion, chopped
1 pound ground beef
2 cups canned chopped tomatoes, drained (from one 28-ounce can)
1 1/2 t salt
1/2 cup pesto
3/4 pound medium pasta shells
1 1/2 cups mozzarella, grated
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

1. Heat the oven to 400 F. Grease a large baking dish (9x13)
2. In a large stainless-steel frying pan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the ground beef and cook, breaking it up, until the meat is no longer pink, about 2 minutes. Drain off any excess fat.
3. Add the tomatoes and salt to the pan and bring to a simmer. Cook until most of the liquid evaporates, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the pesto.
4. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the shells until just done, about 10 minutes. Drain and toss with the sauce. Put half the pasta into the prepared baking dish and top with half the mozzarella and 2 T of the Parmesan. Repeat with the remaining pasta, mozzarella, and Parmesan. Bake until bubbling, about 15 minutes.

The nice thing about this recipe is that it freezes well, so you can double it and make it up one night and then another night when you are running behind, you can just pull it out of the freezer and reheat.


Johannah said...

We all love the recipe. It is tasty and quick, and feeds lots of people for little cost. Great Mom food. Can you put of the ricotta one too, Kar?

Johannah said...

I just made this. It's as good as ever. I threw in a bunch of spinach aswell, to up the veggie content. The spinach is so well hidden in the mix, the kids are none the wiser.