After all of the turkey, ham etc. of Christmas and the leftovers, we fancied something completely different for our tea tonight. To be honest I was feeling quite lazy also. I did a shop this morning and after that, I was pooped. It's freezing out there today. The frost of the day has not melted and the sun is now going down. It's going to be a pretty cold night tonight! Something warm and comforting was in order!
I don't mind saying that I am a more than a little bit frightened at the way food costs are going up. I didn't buy anything much out of the ordinary and I was shocked at how much my grocery bill came to. I did score a package of ground beef that was marked down and yet was not out of date either and so I decided to use that to make us a tasty casserole today . . . albeit it a lazy one.
I browned the beef really well in a nonstick pan along with some Italian garlic seasoning. (It contains a mix of herbs, salt, pepper and garlic. Any well flavoured Italian seasoning would do.) Once it was browned I added a couple of jars of pasta sauce and some water . . .
I added some cheese that I had which needed using up before the end of the month . . . ricotta and mozzarella . . . along with a bit of Parmesa . . . and then I stirred in some dry pasta . I poured the whole lot into a buttered casserole dish, covered it tightly with foil and then baked it in a hot oven for about 55 minutes, by which time the pasta was all nicely cooked and all the flavours melded together.
I sprinkled a bit more mozzarella on top and baked it a bit longer in order to let it get all bubbly and then dinner was served. All we needed was a nice mixed salad on the side. Easy peasy. No hassle and definitely comfort food for a cold winter's day. The pasta hater did not complain overly much. Whew!
*Oven Baked Penne*Serves 4 to 6
Combine the pasta sauce, water, 1/2 of the mozarella cheese, the ricotta cheese and the parmesan cheese with the meat. Stir in the uncooked pasta. Pour this mixture into the prepared baking dish. Cover tightly with foil. Bake for 55 minutes. Remove the foil and top with the remaining cheese. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes longer, until nicely bubbling away. Serve hot.
Quite Simply Delicious!