Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Really Simple Tomato-Mozzarella Casserole

1 lb. dry pasta (recipe calls for Ziti, but I used rotini... really, any short, sturdy pasta will work)

1- 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 - 32 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbls. vegetable oil
2 Tbls. Fresh chopped basil (or 2 tsp. dried - I used Italian Herb Seasoning instead)
1/2 tsp. (or more) salt
1/4 tsp. sugar
8 oz (2 cups) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup. grated parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package in a large pot.  Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.  Put back in pot and set aside.  In a 12" skillet, cook minced garlic in the oil until tender, but do not brown.  Add tomatoes and simmer until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.  Stir in basil, sugar, and salt.  Add sauce to the pasta and toss, adding the reserved pasta water as needed to loosen sauce.  

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spread 1/2 of the pasta mixture into an oiled 9 x 13 baking pan.  Sprinkle 1/2 of each type of cheese over the top.  Spread the rest of the pasta mixture, then the rest of the cheese.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

*Mac and I both decided it would be delicious with ground beef in it as well!  You could replace the diced tomatoes with 1/2 lb. or so of ground beef, if you want it to be meaty.


mrswade said...

I just made this :) but with 1lb beef and an onion (too much beef) but it was REALLY good! :)

Mikaela said...

glad you liked it!