We’re still eating what’s left in the cabinets (and we’re getting pretty bare I’m happy to say!) and I came up with a fabulous dinner the other night and I thought I’d share with the group:
Penne Rigatta (sort of like baked ziti)
In sauce pan, heat a little olive oil (about 1 tbsp). Add 1 large onion, diced. Let that saute a couple minutes then add 3 cloves freshly minced garlic (NOT 3 heads of garlic – just 3 cloves). Once the onions become translucent, add one lb. extra lean hamburger (you can also use Italian sausage but we didn’t have any of that and I was NOT going to the store!)
While browning hamburger, cook 1 box pasta according to package directions. I used penne rigatta (penne noodles with the little lines on them so it holds more sauce) but you can use ziti, bow-tie, etc. Do not overcook! Pasta should be cooked to al dente (which means they are still a little firm) because you’re going to bake it a few minutes so they’ll get even softer.
Once the hamburger is browned, add 1 can mushrooms (I used pieces and stems as they’re cheaper and it’s what I found in the cabinet) and just a pinch of roasted red pepper flakes (be careful as this will add a lot of heat if you use too much). Add 1 can spaghetti sauce and one small can plain tomato sauce to the hamburger mixture. Let simmer for at least a couple minutes but the longer the better the flavor.
In a baking dish, add a small amount of the sauce mixture (just enough to cover the bottom of the pan) followed by half the noodles then about half the sauce mix. Pour about 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese over the top. Add the remaining noodles and layer with the remaining sauce mixture. Cover with several slices provolone cheese and place in oven on broil just enough to melt the cheese. I would have added layers of ricotta cheese too but I didn’t have any.
It makes a large pan but it was SO DELICIOUS!!! It’s also a great way to use a bunch of stuff you may have in your cupboards already. Enjoy!