June 26, 2010

Easy Ground Beef and Pasta Casserole


This is a basic but hearty and delicious casserole, made with pasta and ground beef, along with tomatoes and seasonings. Top this casserole with Monterey Jack cheese or use a blend shredded American and Jack or Cheddar cheeses.
  • 3 cups uncooked medium shells or mini penne pasta
  • 1 pound lean ground chuck or ground round (85 to 90% lean)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 large can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Heat oven to 350°. Lightly spray or grease an 11x7-inch baking dish.
Cook pasta according to package directions until just tender; drain well.In a large skillet over medium heat, saute beef with onion and celery, breaking up with a spoon. Cook, stirring, until almost cooked through. Add garlic and salt and cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, granulated sugar, and the cooked drained pasta. Spoon into the prepared baking dish and cover dish tightly with foil. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Remove foil. Sprinkle with the cheese and bake uncovered for about 5 minutes longer, or until cheese is melted

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