Today's recipe is one I've been making since about the time my daughter, Jenna, was born. Friends of ours came over to celebrate our newest addition and as was customary when all of us were having our babies, we'd bring each other a meal. My friend, Nicole, who had two very young kids of her own and probably a third on the way (she has 4 total now!) was busy herself. She probably could hardly find time to prepare her own family's meals, let alone an extra one for another family!
She didn't let us down though. They walked in the door with a grocery bag full of all of the ingredients needed to make Italian Pasta Bake, and she included the recipe too, of course.
I wanted to share this recipe now because it doubles well and if you're having any family or friends in from out-of-town, this would make a great meal to serve. It comes together quickly, leftovers reheat nicely and all you really need is some bread and maybe a salad or steamed broccoli to complete the meal.
A nice bottle of wine would go well with it too!
Italian Pasta Bake
Here's What You Need:
1 pound ground beef
4 cups pasta, cooked and drained*
1 jar spaghetti sauce
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Here's What You Do:
Brown the meat in a large skillet and drain off any liquid. Stir in the pasta sauce and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Spoon the mixture into a 13x9 baking dish and top with shredded mozzarella cheese and the remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake for 20 minutes with the oven set at 375 degrees.
Told ya it was quick and easy. This is a great weeknight meal for a family if both parents work. I think even the most kitchen averse Dads could put this one together!
*About the pasta...I have used anything from penne to corkscrew to rigatoni shaped noodles. And then there are times when I have just a little bit in several different packages of pasta and I mix them all together. I figure it's okay as long a Martha's not coming to dinner.