I’m generally not a huge fan of Rachael Ray recipes, but this one looked too good to pass up. Since I’m usually pretty busy with work at don’t usually leave my office before 6, I like her idea of “a great meal is never more than 30 minutes away” but her recipes just usually don’t look that good to me, or they call for a lot of ingredients I don't usually have on hand. I modified this quite a bit to fit our tastes, and make it more lasagna-like, but it was excellent. It was really easy and didn’t take more than 30 minutes to whip up, too. I’ll definitely be making it again.
Not-sagna Pasta Toss
Recipe by Rachael Ray, adapted
Prep Time – 15 min
Cook Time – 20 min
10 oz mini lasagna
2 TBSP olive oil
1 lb ground beef
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
½ cup dry red wine (I used Chianti)
1 (28 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 TBSP tomato paste
1 tsp garlic powder
1 ½ tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp parsley flakes
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
½ tsp seasoning salt
1 tsp sugar
1 ½ cups ricotta cheese (use whole milk ricotta – the lesser fat ones are gritty)
20 fresh basil leaves
½ cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese, for garnishing
Bring a large pot of salted water to boiling. Boil noodles to al dente and drain. *Note – reserve about 1 cup of the starchy water*
Heat a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and brown with onions and garlic. Season with salt & pepper.
Once meat is browned add red wine to deglaze the pan. Cook off alcohol. Stir in the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and seasonings. Bring to a bubble. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer 5 min.
Place ricotta cheese in the bottom of a shallow bowl. Add shredded mozzarella and 1 ladle-full of starchy pasta water. Stir to combine.
Toss hot pasta with the cheeses. Add about ½ of the meat sauce to the pasta bowl and combine. Tear the basil and add to the meat and pasta and toss again. Adjust to taste with salt & pepper.
Serve in bowls and top with meat sauce and Parmesan cheese.