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Baked Cavetelli

Makes 6 main-dish servings or 8 to 10 potluck servings.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces dried cavetelli pasta
  • 1 (14-1/2 oz.) can whole Italian-style tomatoes
  • 1/2 of a 6-oz. can(1/3 cup) Italian-style tomato paste (or your choice)
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine or tomato juice
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 pound extra-lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup sliced, pitted ripe olives
  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (2-ounces)

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well and set aside. Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor container, combine undrained tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, sugar, oregano, and pepper. Cover, blend until smooth and set aside. In a large skillet, cook ground beef and onion until beef is no longer pink. Drain well. Stir in tomato mixture. Bring to boiling: reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in pasta and olives. Spoon the pasta mixture into a 2-quart casserole dish. Bake, covered, at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake, uncovered, about 5 minutes more or until heated through.

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Note: If needed for later, chill unbaked casserole, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 45 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, 5 minutes more.

By Connie from Oden, Arkansas

Comments

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April 4, 20070 found this helpful

This sounds great, but I'd probably add half a pound of Italian sausage and brown it with the beef.. I always get the hot, but that is just because I like food that bites back (I like it hot). You can probably find mild Italian sausage if that is what you prefer. Anyway it makes a world of difference in dishes like this, and if you are expecting diners who can't take the heat, get the mild sausage and sit out plenty of Tabasco. Personally, I do not play. When I eat a dish like this I expect it to explode in my face, and I expect it to attempt to kick my remaining teeth out. (So far none have but several have tried, and I respect their efforts).

From "Deep In The Heart of Dixie" - Alph

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