You can’t go wrong with the combination of pasta and cheese – and this recipe is especially fun for your young eaters as the kids always enjoy the twisty macaroni.
In fact, my kids prefer this baked rotini dish over their old favorite, mac and cheese! In a way, I guess this is an improved version of mac and cheese. I like the addition of beef (you can use turkey instead, if preferred) and the mozzarella gives this its own, delicious flavor.
1 tablespoon Bertolli olive oil
¼ cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic
1 pound lean ground beef
4 cups tomato sauce
1 package rotini
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ pound mushrooms, sliced
In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; saute onion and garlic until softened and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add beef; cook, breaking up with spoon, until no longer pink, in about 10 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce and mushrooms; reduce heat to medium and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta for 2 minutes less than package instructions indicated (pasta will be slightly undercooked). Drain, return to pot.
Toss together pasta, meat sauce, 2 cups of the mozzarella cheese and 2 tablespoons of the parmesan cheese. Spread in 13×9-inch casserole dish; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheeses.
Bake in 350°F oven until cheese is melted and pasta is bubbly, about 30 minutes.
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Quick tip: Try ground turkey or chicken for a leaner option.