My in-laws from out of town are currently visiting and staying with us. Yesterday, we went out shopping with them. I noticed as we got back in the van, that it was 5:00, and I hadn’t thought about dinner yet. (Yes, I do follow my own advice of menu planning, but when you have company over (who are prone to spontaneous plans), planning meals can be tricky.) We arrived home at 5:30, and dinner was on the table by 6:00. This meal was quick! I had all of the ingredients on hand, and totaled up, did NOT cost very much to make. It was cheap! Add to these successes, I had 6 empty plates at the end of the meal. The kids ate it! Add these three ingredients up, and you have a Supermom Trifecta Meal! Wahoo! A meal that is quick, cheap to prepare, and pleases everyone (even the kids) is a keeper in my book!
This recipes takes all the flavors of pizza and puts them into a quick and easy pasta dish! I l0ve this one!
1/2 bell pepper (I used green)
1/2 onion (I am not allowed to cook with onions as my husband vehemently hates them, but I think this would be great with onion.)
2 cloves garlic (small)
1 lb. ground beef
several handfuls of pepperoni
1 jar marinara sauce (I used Bertolli Organic)
pasta (I used just shy of a whole box of Rotini noodles)
grated mozzarella cheese
Brown your ground beef in a large skillet. Add in the bell pepper, onions, and garlic. (I used my garlic press, and just pressed it over the pan.) You can drizzle in some olive oil at this point if you think you need it. As your veggies begin to caramelize and get tender, add in your spices. I don’t measure unless I’m baking, so just add according to your own personal taste.
Meanwhile, prepare your pasta as directed on the package. I like to use shaped noodles for this dish, as they hold the sauce in a different way, and they appeal more to children. Cook to al dente, as they will continue to cook in the sauce, and no one likes mushy noodles! Add a ladle or two of the starchy cooking liquid to the pan of sauce. This will stretch and thicken the sauce.
Cut your pepperoni into strips. Add to the meat and vegetable mixture. Allow to cook and soften for a few minutes. Add in your sauce.
Drain your noodles. Do not rinse them! Add the noodles directly into the sauce pan! (Always do it this way, and never the reverse! You want your noodles to really soak up the good flavor of your sauce!
Pour the noodle/sauce mixture into an oven safe casserole or 9×13 pan. Top with grated mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the dish is bubbly!
I served this up with some garlic bread (made out of store-bought sandwich rolls), and some nice steamed vegetables. It easily served 4 adults and 2 children, and we have left-overs!
Try this one out the next time you are in a bind and need to get a good dinner on the table in a hurry! Or, simply add this recipe to your menu planner for next week! Enjoy!