I had no idea what to make for dinner last night. I started to look in my freezer, in the pantry, on the shelf, in the fridge. I was stumped! But then I saw that I had ricotta cheese I hadn’t used yet, and not wanting to waste that I built my meal around that.
I had penne pasta, I had canned diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce, I had only about a half pound of ground beef, so I decided to make a pasta bake!
1 bag of penne pasta
1/2 pound ground sirloin
1/2 an onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes (which I pureed with a little spinach!)
1 14 oz. can tomato sauce
salt and pepper
Sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 cup of fat free ricotta cheese
Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top.
First, I cooked the meat, and drained off any fat. Then I added the onion and garlic and sauteed that. Add the pureed tomatoes, and can of tomato sauce and spices. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occassionally.
Cook the penne pasta and drain. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta liquid. Add the pasta back to the pot with the cooking liquid and add the ricotta cheese to that. Stir until its evenly distributed. It will kind of melt because of the hot pasta.
Pour the pasta coated with ricotta, add the sauce and put in a 9×13 casserole dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese on top.
Bake for about 20 minutes at 375, or until its hot and bubbly. It came out really good, way better than I expected!
It totally hit the spot on a cold winter night!