Baked ziti meets american chopped suey. This recipe is very kid friendly even with the disguised vegetables! If you can pick up some Narragansett creamery mozzarella (or cheese from any local creamery), it makes a huge difference in the flavor and texture of the dish. Although the ingredient list looks long, you probably have most of these items on hand. Elbow macaroni works just as well as rotini. Be sure to cook it al dente so it doesn't get too mushy while baking!
That picture was taken before it was baked. Sometimes it's just WAY too difficult to take a picture of my plate during our actual dinnertime. There is a very small window where adults can sit down and enjoy food in our house...I need to take advantage of these windows if and when they actually happen.
1 lb ground beef or turkey
1 small onion, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 6oz can tomato paste
1/4 cup of sliced mushrooms (or more if your family actually eats mushrooms, unlike mine)
1 t. salt
5 basil leaves, chopped (or 1/2 t. dried)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 t. dried oregano
1/4 t. crushed red pepper
8 ounces rotini, cooked
3 cups (12 ounces) shredded or chopped mozzarella
Cook first 3 ingredients in a large pot, until meat is no longer pink. Drain excess fat. Stir in crushed tomatoes, and next 7 ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and stir occasionally, 20 minutes or so. Stir in al dente rotini and cheese. Spoon int a lightly greased 9 X 13 casserole dish.
Place in fridge until ready to bake!
Bake uncovered at 350 for 35 minutes! Yields about 8 servings.