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Baked Shells with Pesto, Mozzarella and Meat Sauce

Source: Quick from Scratch - One Dish Meals
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Rating: 4   Reviews: 15 See Reviews
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Active Time:  15 Minutes
Total Time:  30 Minutes
  Serves 4
Here's a true crowd pleaser: pasta shells in a simple sauce of ground beef, tomatoes and pesto, layered with mozzarella and Parmesan and baked until bubbly. Fusilli or orecchiette would work well here, too.
RECIPE INGREDIENTS
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 onion, chopped
1 pound ground beef
2 cups chopped canned tomatoes, drained (from one 28-ounce can)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup store-bought or homemade pesto
3/4 pound medium pasta shells
6 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Baked Shells with Pesto, Mozzarella and Meat Sauce Recipe at Cooking.com
DIRECTIONS
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Oil a large baking dish (about 9 by 13 inches).


In a large stainless-steel frying pan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the ground beef and cook, breaking it up, until the meat is no longer pink, about 2 minutes. Drain off any excess fat.


Add the tomatoes and salt to the pan and bring to a simmer. Cook until most of the liquid evaporates, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the pesto.


Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the shells until just done, about 10 minutes. Drain and toss with the sauce. Put half of the pasta into the prepared baking dish and top with half the mozzarella and 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan. Repeat with the remaining pasta, mozzarella, and Parmesan. Bake until bubbling, about 15 minutes.


Variation:


Almost any relatively soft, mild cheese will taste good here. You might try fontina in place of the mozzarella, or even Gouda or Havarti.


Recipe reprinted by permission of Food and Wine. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
Part of These Recipe Collections Find Similar Recipes »
 Primo Pasta Bakes
 Casserole Classics: Ground Beef
 Fill Up With Casseroles
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   Serves 4
Calories: 885
Fat. Total: 39g
Fiber: 4g
Carbohydrates, Total: 78g
Sodium: 1796mg
% Cal. from Fat: 40%
Cholesterol: 78mg
Protein: 55g
Spotlight Recipe Review See all 15 reviews »

Rating: 5
by: adam, AL Reviewed: 07/03/2008
very nice, not bland at all try adding garlic and fresh basil to the meat, we also made a separate sauce from vine tomatoes mushrooms red peppers and the sauce drained of the tomatoes which was really nice poured on top and added flavors to the dish
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