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This is a great pasta dish reminiscent of lasagna but a little easier. I used medium pasta shells, but use the pasta of your choice. It’s so filling without being terribly rich. The perfect sides are garlic bread and a big green salad. Great on a busy weeknight, which I guess is the only kind we have. Casseroles are a wonderful way to get supper on the table and still get a few other things done too. I especially love casseroles in the fall and winter, so filling and comforting. What’s your favorite comfort food?
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Baked Pasta Shells Casserole
1 lb. pasta shells, medium sized, cooked until fork tender, and drained
(you don’t want them all the way done, they will continue to cook in the oven)
1 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 jar (26 oz) pasta sauce, I like garlic and onion flavor
15 oz ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 garlic clove, grated or minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
In a medium skillet, over medium-high heat add ground beef and season with salt and pepper. Cook until well browned. Drain fat if necessary.
Meanwhile, combine ricotta, egg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, basil and 3/4 cup of mozzarella, set aside.
In a large bowl, or the pot that you cooked the pasta, combine pasta, pasta sauce and cooked ground beef.
Coat an medium size casserole dish with cooking spray. Layer half of pasta mixture into bottom, followed by ricotta mixture and then topped with remaining pasta mixture. Top with remaining mozzarella. Bake for 45 minutes at 375 degrees.