142.6...Ground Beef and Pasta Casserole

Looking for an easy dish that only uses one pot?? I have just the one: Ground Beef and Pasta Casserole. It came together pretty quickly and was a hit with the family. The veggies were hidden so even my son liked it. Lol.

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Ground Beef and Pasta Casserole (Serves 6)

Recipe from Cooking Light, March 2016


2 small onions, peeled and quartered

2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch pieces

1 Tbsp olive oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbsp dried Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

1/2 tsp. salt, divided

1 pound extra-lean ground sirloin

3 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock

6 Tbsp sliced fresh basil, divided

2 Tbsp unsalted tomato paste

1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

12 ounces uncooked whole-wheat chiocciole or rigatoni pasta

1 (26.46-ounce) carton strained tomatoes (such as Pomi)

4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices (I used shredded)

1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup)


1. Place onions in a food processor; pulse until finely chopped. Add carrots; pulse until finely chopped.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3. Heat a large high-sided sauté pan over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion mixture; cook 4 minutes. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes. Add Italian seasoning, red pepper, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Add beef; cook 5 minutes. Stir in stock, 4 tablespoons basil, tomato paste, vinegar, pasta and tomatoes. Bring mixture to a boil; cook 13 minutes or until pasta is almost done, stirring frequently. Stir in remaining 1/4 tsp. salt.

4. Arrange mozzarella over pasta mixture. Sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano; bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until pasta is done. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons of basil.

Printable Recipe

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Last night my husband wasn’t home so I had a lazy dinner.

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It was perfect. It was nice to be able to pull it out of the fridge and sit down and eat it. I may have to do that again soon….

Good thing I went to the grocery store yesterday. Not only did I buy sushi for my dinner but I bought my eggs too!

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I took the kids to school, then headed to Palm Desert to hang out with my mom. We went to my favorite Mexican restaurant of all time, Fresh Agave, for lunch. 

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Their margaritas are perfect. 

So is their table-side guacamole:

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I ordered the Fish Ceviche to go with the chips and guacamole and it was a great move.

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A perfect lunch, if you ask me!

I’m staying the night here and am already looking forward to dinner…..:)

What’s the best Mexican restaurant where you live?

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