Sunday, September 9, 2012

Smoky Bolognese Bake

The Fall 2012 edition of Cooking Club magazine has a spread on casseroles. Of those printed, this is the one that caught my eye. The other ones weren't very appealing to me. Next year I'll probably look at them and wonder why I didn't find them completely appetizing, which is my tendency.

I followed the recipe making only minor changes. Because crushed fire-roasted tomatoes are non-existent in my realm, I adapted (see below), and because smoked mozzarella wasn't found, I used goudacheddar.

Smoky Bolognese Bake
adapted from Cooking Club of America
click to print

8 oz. penne
8 oz. ground beef (85% lean)
6 oz. smoked andouille sausage, sliced
1 c finely chopped carrot
1 c chopped celery
1/2 c chopped onion
2 tsp minced garlic
2 (14.5-oz.) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 tbsp smoked paprika
3/4 tsp salt
2 c shredded smoked gouda

Heat oven to 375°F.  Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.

Meanwhile, heat large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Cook beef 4 to 5 minutes or until browned and no longer pink in center, stirring frequently. With slotted spoon, place in large bowl.

Add sausage, carrot, celery and onion to skillet; cook over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring frequently and adding garlic during last 1 minute of cooking.

Meanwhile, blend a can of tomatoes on "crush" setting momentarily.

Add sausage mixture to beef; stir in pasta and all remaining ingredients except cheese.

Spray 13x9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon penne mixture into baking dish.

Bake 30 minutes until hot and edges are bubbling. Top with cheese; bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and light brown.

The edges on mine weren't bubbling after 30 minutes. Maybe manufacturer-crushed fire-roasted tomatoes has more water?

The cheese was weird. I couldn't help but think while I ate that I should've gotten a regular mozzarella instead of leaning toward anything smoked. All was not lost though, the penne was perfectly tender and the paprika flavor with the sausage was good. The dish was sort of like a Pizza Pasta Bake for adults. If I do this again, it will only be to see if a cheese change makes this casserole. There's too many recipes out there to try that could probably beat this one.


Total: $16.33 or $2.04 for each of 8 servings.