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Store bought pasta sauce makes this dish easy but you may use homemade pasta sauce for this recipe, Classico Tomato and Basil flavor pasta sauce works well for this, the success of this recipe will really depend on which pasta sauce you use, you may increase the sauce amount to taste, zita or penne pasta can be used in place of the rigatoni if desired.
- 1⁄2 lb small white button mushrooms (or use as much as desired)
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons dried chili pepper flakes (or to taste)
- 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2 teaspoons seasoning salt (or use white salt)
- black pepper
- 4 cups cooked rigatoni pasta (do not overcook the pasta as it will cook more in the oven)
- 1 (26 ounce) bottlefavorite pasta sauce (or use about 4 cups favorite homemade pasta sauce, can use more)
- 3 cups grated mozzarella cheese (or to taste)
- 1⁄3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Set oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease a medium casserole dish (or a dish large enough to hold the mixture).
- In a skillet cook the whole small mushrooms in a little oil or butter until all the moisture has evaporated (about 10 minutes) remove to an extra large bowl.
- To the same skillet add in the ground beef with chili flakes, onions, garlic and red bell pepper; cook until beef is no longer pink and the veggies are tender (about 12-15 minutes).
- Season with salt and pepper; drain any fat, then add to the bowl with the cooked mushrooms.
- To the bowl with the beef and mushrooms, add in all the sauce and 1-1/2 cups grated mozzarella cheese (or to taste) toss well to combine.
- Add in the cooked pasta and toss again.
- Transfer the mixture to a greased casserole dish.
- Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.
- Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until the casserole is heated through and bubbly.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle about 1-1/2 cups mozzarella cheese on top.
- Return to oven and continue to bake until the cheese has melted (about 5-6 minutes).