Yeah, ok, you got me. It’s not actually famous.
Quite honestly only a few people have had it.
Everyone has liked it, so that’s good enough for me. But the important thing is that I love this recipe.
My mom used to make it for us as kids. I’ve always been a huge pasta lover. Any and all pastas. Except lasagne and raviolis….
So maybe not all. But Italian has always been one of my favourite types of food.
When I first got an apartment and moved into my very own, I made this meal very often. It was extremely easy, made a lot of servings, and tasted so yummy. I would make a big batch on Sunday night and freeze the leftovers which was perfect for someone who didn’t want to spend her evenings cooking after a long day at work.
I only just realised a week or two ago that I haven’t made this for D! I’ve been so interested in finding healthy and new recipes to try and create that I forgot about this very one that I claim to be my own.
I decided I would make a healthy version of it and see what he thought. If it was good enough, I would share the recipe on the blog with all of you lovely people.
And he said it was really good. So there. Yay.
This recipe is super simple guys. And you can make it hearty and fattening if you’re in the mood for that. Or you can have it be a healthy version of one of your favourite pasta dishes. It’s all up to you really. But for those of you who have kids, this is perfect for you as the prep time is small enough and your kids will love it. I mean, it’s pasta.
- 1 diced green pepper
- 1 diced yellow onion
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes
- 24 oz pasta sauce of some kind (either make your own, or store bought. I used tomato and basil with no added sugar)
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (or mozzarella, or no cheese, or substitute nutritional yeast)
- 1 package penne pasta (I used chickpea, but you can use whatever, whole wheat, regular, etc) (you can also use any shape you want, macaroni works well, or rotini, literally whatever you fancy)
- 1 lb minced beef (or turkey, or no meat at all if you’re using a high protein pasta, up to you)
Heat oven to 350F/270C.
Dice the green pepper and onion. Heat up a large skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil at medium to low heat. Once hot, add in minced garlic. Next, add the green pepper and onion. Cook for 3-5 minutes and add the meat and break up pieces. Cook until no longer pink.
While this is cooking, boil pasta according to package instructions.
Once meat is fully cooked, add the pasta sauce to the skillet. If it’s too thick, add a bit of water, or some tomato paste to thicken if it’s too thin. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Add parmesan cheese to sauce mixture for more flavour depth (optional).
Once pasta is al dente, strain the noodles and pour into a casserole dish. Mix sauce with all the pasta in the casserole dish until well combined. Then sprinkle parmesan on top – as much as you want. I used about 1/2 cup freshly shredded parmesan.
Put casserole dish in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until top is golden brown. Remove, and enjoy!
And that’s it! The entire time should take between 30-40 minutes, but the prep should be 15 max before you put it in the oven.
And as you can see, this makes a lot of food so could feed the family for two nights, or could become dinner for the first few days of the week. It freezes well so you could save it for a rainy day if you’d like.
It’s one of those recipes that’s easy to whip and nice to have on hand. I made it with chickpea pasta but also with minced beef as I wanted the full flavour of the meat. I personally think if I wanted this for a cheat meal, I’d use regular pasta and minced beef with lots of cheese.
For a lightened up version, either whole wheat or chickpea is good with minced turkey or no meat at all for a vegetarian option. Obviously you can omit the cheese or add as much as you want. This recipe can be totally tailored to your needs!
I hope you guys try this one out. With the cooler temperatures rolling in, the hearty meals are starting to be craved!
Please let me know what you think about this recipe once you try it! And tag #knackeredbychaos if you post!