Recipe by CountryLady
I love both red & white sauces for pasta! This recipe is easier than making lasagna yet perfect for relaxed entertaining. It can be made in advance & refrigerated for up to 8 hours or foil wrapped & frozen for up to 2 weeks. If you can't find "cavatappi" (the thick cork screw shapes), use some other short pasta such as penne or rotini.
Top Review by shanti2
This is awesome!!! I followed another reviewer who just added spaghetti sauce. i used a large jar of Ragu and about i/2 large can of diced tomatoes I had left over and also a small can of diced tomatoes with italian seasonings ..trying to add up to the 28-oz can of diced tomatoes called for.i omitted the spinach and artichokes.This is very much like the Baked Neopolitan Pasta from Rachael Ray I usually make,although that version has no meat. I will definitely use this again and also will try it with chicken as suggested. This went together very quickly for me.
- 5 cups cavatappi pasta
- 1 (10 ounce) bag fresh spinach, trimmed
- 1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained,rinsed & halved
- 1 1⁄2 cups fontina or 1 1⁄2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 1 stalk celery, finely diced
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons oregano
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1⁄4 cup tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1⁄4 cup flour
- 2 1⁄4 cups milk
- 1⁄4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 pinch pepper
- 1 pinch nutmeg
Directions See How It's Made
- RED SAUCE: Cook ground beef in a large skillet, breaking up with a spoon, until no longer pink, about 10 minutes.
- Drain off fat.
- Add next 7 ingredients& cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add tomatoes& paste, bring to a boil, then reduce heat& simmer until a spoon scraped across the bottom of the pan leaves a gap that fills in slowly.
- This should take about 30 minutes.
- WHITE SAUCE: Melt butter over medium heat in a saucepan.
- Whisk in flour& cook, whisking constantly, for a minute.
- Gradually add milk, 1/2 cup at a time, whisking constantly; continue cooking& whisking until thickened, about 15 minutes.
- Stir in cheese& seasonings.
- PASTA: Cook in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but firm, about 8- 10 minutes or according to package directions.
- Coarsely chop spinach, add to the pot& give it a stir.
- Drain well.
- ASSEMBLY: Arrange half of the pasta mixture in a 13 x 9 inch glass baking dish.
- Spoon red sauce over top; sprinkle with artichoke hearts.
- Top with remainder of pasta mixture.
- Spoon white sauce over top; sprinkle with cheese.
- Bake in preheated 375F oven until bubbly& golden, about 25 minutes.
- Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
- If made in advance& frozen, thaw in refrigerator& add 10 minutes to cooking time.