Lasagna Casserole (Curly Pasta With Meat & Ricotta)
- 1 pound campanelle (curly-shaped pasta), such as Barilla brand
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 pound ground beef, pork and veal mix
- 1 carrot, grated
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, grated
- Black pepper
- 1 28-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 cup basil leaves, shredded or torn
- A handful of flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup (a couple of handfuls) Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Yields: 6 servings
Preheat oven to 400°F and heat a pot of water to boil for the pasta.
Once at a boil, salt liberally and add pasta. Cook just shy of al dente leaving a good bite to it, about 6-7 minutes.
While water comes to a boil, heat 3 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 3 tablespoons, over medium-high heat. Add the meat and lightly brown it for 3-4 minutes, breaking it up into small bits with the back of a wooden spoon. Add carrot, onions and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook until veggies soften, about 5-6 minutes.
Break up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon in a colander over a bowl to crush them up. Add them to beef and vegetables. Add stock, bring up to a bubble and simmer for 15 minutes. Fold in basil and parsley.
When the pasta is ready, drain it and return it to the pot. Add the ricotta cheese and the sauce, and toss to coat. Transfer pasta to a casserole dish and top with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Bake 15 minutes or so, until top crusts up a bit.
Toss together a green salad while the casserole's in the oven to serve alongside.
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