Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day 3: Baked shells with pesto, mozzarella, and meat sauce

Tonight's recipe comes from a Food & Wine Cookbook. Food & Wine is not a usual source of food inspiration, due to the "fancy recipes" made with "weird ingredients!" Even though I thoroughly enjoy both Food and Wine. I draw my limit at calf liver... or really liver of any kind! And if that interests you, I will gladly give you that page!

These books were actually a gift from a friend who bought them at one of the many book fairs that frequent the teacher's lounge! She decided to pass them on to me, knowing full well that I would use them.

This recipe sounded interesting due to the fact that

a. It is Italian, and we like Italian. A lot.

b. There is none of the afore mentioned weird ingredients.
c. An appetizing picture always helps too!

Here's the recipe.

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans chopped tomatoes , drained
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup pesto
  • 3/4 cup medium pasta shells
  • 6 oz. grated mozzarella
  • Parmesan cheese
Directions (the Jenn version)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cook shells according to box directions.
  3. Use large skillet to brown hamburger and onion. Drain and return to pan.
  4. Add tomatoes and salt to pan with meat. Simmer for 10 min until thickened.
  5. Remove from heat and add pesto.
  6. Drain pasta and add to meat mixture.
  7. Grease 9x13 pan. Add 1/2 of meat mixture. Add 1/2 of cheese. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers.
  8. Cook 15 min, or until cheese is good and bubbly!
Doesn't it just look good?

This recipe is a keeper. We usually make the recipe according to directions first, then make changes. However, this time we made some initial changes.
  • We cut the salt. 1 1/2 tsp sounded like a lot. We only used 1/2 tsp.
  • Instead of mozzarella, we used smoked Gouda (my new favorite) and you could really taste it!
  • Next time, add mushrooms and sausage instead of ground beef.

Since it is Thursday.... and Pie League is back from hiatus.... and just because...... I decided to finish my meal with a piece of Apple Pear Pie and a little Ben & Jerry's Dulce Delish! Yumm!

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