|Cheesy Shells and Meat Sauce|
Well, last night I was not feeling great and thought I would make a quick and easy pasta dish. I had bought some jarred pasta sauce at ALDI gasp! I thought I would use that with some ground beef and cheese to make a pasta bake. When I told my daughter my intentions, she had a "meltdown". "Please don't use that mom!" she begged, "I will make the sauce just tell me what to do." Of course, I obliged my baby girl and went ahead with my homemade sauce. So glad I listened to my daughter because it turned out terrific and homemade sauce is really better. Hope you like it as much as we did!
Cheesy Shells and Meat Sauce
|Cheesy Shells and Meat Sauce - Nice and bubbly. . . hot out of the oven!|
Tablespoons Olive Oil
medium onion, chopped
cloves garlic, finely chopped
ground chuck (80/20)
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 small can tomato paste
- 1 Tablespoons Parsley
- 1 Tablespoons Oregano
- 2 Cups Warm Water (You may need to use more or less water but use enough so the sauce is not too thick.)
1 pound small shells (or any pasta you prefer)
Drizzle of Olive Oil
- 2 Cups of Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, Italian Cheese Blend, or really any cheese you like
Begin by chopping your onions and smashing your garlic. Pour olive oil in your pan and saute the onion and garlic until translucent. Add your ground chuck to the pan and brown. Most people drain their meat - I do not drain mine. I use a good ground chuck so it is not necessary and it adds extra flavor to your sauce. Once your ground beef is browned, add your crushed tomatoes and tomato paste (or fresh tomatoes if you are using fresh), parsley, Oregano, sugar and salt. Stir in the water. You can simmer this on low heat while you get your pasta cooked. The longer you let it simmer the better the flavor. Ideally, you could prepare the sauce to this step and put it in a slow cooker while you are at work.
For the pasta, fill a large stockpot 3/4 full and add 1 Tablespoon salt. Bring to a roiling boil and add your pasta. Stir it good and set your timer for 10 minutes for small shells. If you are using a different pasta, consult your box or bag for directions. Get your colander ready and when your timer goes off drain the pasta immediately.
- In a 9X13 baking pan, pour about 3 ladles of sauce into the bottom of the pan. Pour the pasta over the sauce. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 cups of the cheese. Add the remaining sauce and top with the remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees until cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Serve with a garden salad and garlic bread and dig in!
|My sister Kim's delicious garden salad!|
Labels: Cheese, Cheesy, Creamy, marinara sauce, Meat Sauce, Pasta, Shells