Beef Pasta Casserole
January 12, 2016
A beef and pasta casserole topped with Mozzarella cheese.
In a large empty non-stick pot, brown the ground beef over high heat for 8 - 10 minutes, or until the juices have evaporated. Add the onions: cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic: cook for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste: cook for 30 seconds. Add the diced tomatoes and the juice, and then add in enough water to cover mixture by 3 inches. Then add the parsley, cinnamon, clove, pickling spices, chilli flakes, chicken or beef base powder, oregano and bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Partially cover with matching lid and boil for 45 minutes over high heat stirring occasionally.
After 45 minutes, the liquid should almost cover the mixture; if there's more liquid, then continue reducing the liquid, and if there's less, then add a bit more water. Add the pasta, reduce the heat to medium and then cook for 20 minutes, stirring every minute to prevent scorching. After 15 minutes of cooking, position one oven rack on the lowest level and a second rack near the broiler: preheat the oven to 450'F.
Transfer the beef pasta mixture to the casserole and bake for 10 minutes; the sauce should be reduced to almost nothing, enough to bind everything together. Stir the mixture around and then top with cheese: place pan on the second rack, under a 500'F. broiler and broil for 2 - 3 minutes, or until the cheese melts and slightly browns. Serve with finely grated cheese of choice, salad and bread.
A regular casserole pan can be used; spray it with a non-stick spray to prevent sticking.
Any type of pasta pieces can be used: elbow, Fusili, bow ties, etc.
Ground tomatoes can also be used.
Other flavourings of choice can be used.
Image © Luigi Novi / Wikimedia Commons