Sometimes the perfect COVID-19 quarantine food = comfort + whatcha got on hand. You probably have all these items handy to make this flavor-packed gooey pasta bake. And given the current meat shortages, you can easily make this with vegetarian meat substitutes (we used frozen Quorn meatless grounds) and I promise no one will even notice.
- 2.5–3 cups ground meat (you can use ground beef, turkey or veggie-friendly alternative meat – we used frozen Quorn Meatless Grounds, which has been a handy thing to keep in the freezer lately)
- 1/2 pound pound penne pasta (or similar pasta like mostaccioli, rigatoni, macaroni, rotini)
- 12 ounce jar of marinara (or whatever sauce you have)
- 1/2 cup chopped shallots (or 1 cup chopped onions)
- 3–5 cloves minced garlic (sub with a healthy dose of minced garlic, garlic granules or powder)
- 10 white mushroom caps, sliced and halved if they’re big (canned mushrooms could work)
- 3 medium chopped tomatoes (or canned diced tomatoes)
- 1.5–2 Tablespoons of our La Dolce Vita organic spice blend (That’s Amore, Buffy’s Slayer Helper would also go well with this dish)
- 1–2 Tablespoons olive oil
- Mozzarella cheese (or any good melting cheese)
- A few big appetites
- Cook pasta according to package instructions
- While pasta is cooking, cook the meat in a very large skillet on med heat (use with 1 TB olive oil or 2 if using veggie meat) add water if needed.
- When meat is fully cooked, add shallots and cook for 3 minutes
- Preheat oven to 350
- Add garlic to meat, cook for an additional 2 minutes
- If you’re cooking with real meat, drain a majority of the fat at this point.
- Add pasta sauce, mushrooms, tomatoes, 1/4 cup water and 1-2 Tablespoons of La Dolce Vita spice mix to the meat, lower heat, stir and let lightly simmer for 5-8 mins, stirring occasionally. The goal is to have majority of the moisture evaporate.
- When pasta is done cooking, drain and return to the pan you boiled the pasta in.
- Add the meat sauce mixture to the pasta and stir.
- Pour it into a casserole dish (at least a 13×19, this is a whopper that makes a lot of food)
- Toss mozzarella on top. Remember, we’re in a quarantine situation, let the the cheese flow.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until it’s bubbly and the cheese browns
- Category: pasta
- Cuisine: Italian