Lasagna Casserole: Curly Pasta with Meat and Ricotta
Here’s a different take on classic lasagna. It’s a great casserole for picnics and parties, because it’s a little easier to serve up then regular lasagna.
- 1 pound campanelle (curly-shaped pasta), such as Barilla brand
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 pound ground beef, pork and veal mix
- 1 carrot, grated
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, grated
- Black pepper
- 1 can Italian plum tomatoes (28 ounces)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 cup basil leaves, shredded or torn
- A handful of flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (a couple of handfuls)
Pre-heat oven to 400°F.
Heat a pot of water to boil for the pasta.
Once at a boil, salt liberally and add pasta. Cook just shy of al dente, leaving a good bite to it, about 6-7 minutes.
While water comes to a boil, heat three tablespoons of EVOO, about three turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the meat and lightly brown it for 3-4 minutes, breaking it up into small bits with the back of a wooden spoon.
Add carrot, onions and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook until veggies soften, about 5-6 minutes. Break up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon in a colander over a bowl to crush them up.
Add them to beef and vegetables. Add stock, bring up to a bubble and simmer for 15 minutes. Fold in basil and parsley.
When the pasta is ready, drain it and return it to the pot. Add the ricotta cheese and the sauce, tossing to coat. Transfer pasta to a casserole dish and top with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
Bake 15 minutes or so, until top crusts up a bit. Toss together a green salad to serve alongside while the casserole in the oven.