Monday, May 23, 2011

PENNE PASTA CASSEROLE

1 lb lean ground meat (beef or turkey)
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 can (14 1/2-oz)diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings
1 can (6-oz) tomato paste
1/2 cup water
3 1/2 cups uncooked penne pasta
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

Prepare the uncooked pasta according to the package directions.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

While pasta is cooking, brown the meat and onion in a large skillet until the meat is no longer pink; drain off any excess fat. Return meat and onion to skillet and stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, and water. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add some garlic powder, if desired. Cook just until heated through.

Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine the cooked and drained pasta with the meat mixture. Stir in 2 cups of the mozzarella cheese. Pour the mixture into the sprayed baking dish. Spread the remaining cup of cheese evenly over the top of the casserole.

Bake uncovered for 20 to 35 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

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