Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Italian Pasta Casserole

This recipe turned out really good. The flavors blended well together and it was fairly easy to make. I had almost everything needed for this recipe in the pantry and freezer. I think most would have the items needed on hand. I did leave out the turkey pepperoni for two reasons. One we did not have pepperoni on hand and second I did not think it would really need the pepperoni. I was right. You don't need the pepperoni in the dish. I also subbed sweet Italian sausage for the sausage links. This recipe was found in the Taste of Home Healthy Cooking November 2008 issue.

2 cups uncooked spiral pasta
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb Italian turkey sausage links, casings removed
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cans (14 1/2 oz each) diced tomatoes, undrained
1/3 cup tomato paste
3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 ounces sliced turkey pepperoni
1 cup (4 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, crumble beef and sausage into a large skillet; add onion and garlic. Cook and stir over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in tomatoes; tomato paste and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered 5 minutes.

Drain pasta; stir in meat mixture and pepperoni. Transfer half of pasta mixture to a 2-qt baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with half cheese; repeat layers. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly.

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