Penne Pasta Casserole Recipe
This penne pasta casserole recipe can be made with ground beef or chicken and is quick to assemble. This is dish that is not overly complex in flavors and the kids should like.
6 cups uncooked penne pasta
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 lb lean ground beef or 1 lb ground chicken
1 (14 oz) can diced herb flavored tomatoes
1 (6oz) can tomato paste
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper to season
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley to garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease a 9x13 baking dish (or you can use individual portion ramekins)
T o cook pasta, fill a large pot 2/3 of the way with hot tap water. Add 1 teaspoon salt to the water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and stir with a wooden spoon to be sure noodles don’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
Turn the heat down, enough to maintain a boil and stir every so often to prevent noodles sticking. Do not cover the pot. After 8-10 minutes, take a piece of pasta out of the water, allow it to cool and do a test for doneness.
Bite into the pasta. If it is too hard to bite or you see a white center, it needs to cook a little longer. When it cooks all the way through it is ready and cooked el dente. Turn off the heat, put the pasta into a strainer. Shake out excess water and put the pot back onto a cool part of the stove.
Pour one tablespoon oil into the noodles to keep them from sticking together.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and add the onions. Saute until soft and translucent.
Add the beef or turkey to the skillet. Crumble the meat as it is cooking and cook until no pink is showing. Drain and fat off. Stir the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and water into the meat mixture. Add salt and pepper to season to taste.
Add the meat sauce to the cooked pasta and 2 cups of the shredded cheese and stir to combine.
Spoon into the baking dish (or individual dishes) and top with the remaining shredded cheese.
Bake uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.
Garnish with freshly chopped parsley.