Easy Baked Rotini

The bird looks hungry

Sometimes you just need pasta, yesterday was one of those days.  Baked pastas are always a crowd-pleaser, relatively easy to make, and taste amazing.  If you’ve never tried your hand at one, now is the time.  It’s a very simple concept: noodles, sauce, and cheese.  How you go about those three ingredients is what separates the good from the extraordinary.  For this particular dish I used rotini, mainly because I happened to have in the pantry.  You could easily do this with ziti, penne, or any other similar style of pasta.  The important thing is to make a sauce that you’re proud of, and the rest of the dish will follow.  This will serve at least 6.

Baked Rotini

16oz Rotini Pasta

8oz Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Sauce

6 Cloves Garlic, minced

1 Pound Ground Beef

1 Cubanelle Pepper (or bell pepper), diced

1 Large Tomato, diced

1 Medium Onion, diced

16oz Tomato Sauce, plain or Spanish style

1/4 Cup Red Wine, not too dry

1 Tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Dash Nutmeg, ground

2 Tsp Italian Herb Blend (oregano, thyme, basil, rosemary and sage)

1 Tsp Agave Nectar (or ~Tbsp Sugar)

Sea Salt & Black Pepper, to taste

Olive Oil

In a medium saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil (med-low heat), add garlic, stir until fragrant, add onions, stir for 2 minutes, add peppers and tomatoes, allow to cook for about 5 min.  Meanwhile, in a separate skillet brown the ground beef (~5min), drain off excess fat, and add beef to the sauce pan.  Add tomato sauce, seasonings, wine, and agave nectar, allow to simmer while cooking the pasta in a separate pot.  When the pasta is al dente (~7-8 min), drain and put into a large casserole dish, cover with sauce, top with cheese, and bake for 15 minutes in a preheated oven @450F.  Enjoy.

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Categories: Main Courses | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Easy Baked Rotini

  1. Yum! I may need to give this a try!

  2. This looks great! I have been looking for a make ahead dish for a get together. I’m be making this.

  3. beautifully presented

  4. Looks great! possibly going to steal this idea for the holidays! Love that cheesy goodness

  5. Blackbox _cosmetics

    love it!!

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