Saturday, September 12, 2009
Adapted from My Kitchen Cafe
3 (14.5 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
3 medium garlic cloves, finely minced
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (these do not add spice - just flavor!)
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 box Penne or Rotini noodles
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup cottage cheese
Pulse the tomatoes with their juice in a blender or food processor until they are coarsely ground and no large pieces remain. Then, add the tomato sauce, basil, and oregano and blend slightly to mix.
Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened and translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the ground meat and cook, breaking apart the meat, until it is lightly browned and no longer pink, 5 to 6 minutes.
Scatter the noodles over the meat and then pour in the ground tomatoes sauce over the pasta. Cover, increase the heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring often and adjusting the heat to maintain a vigorous simmer, until the pasta is tender, about 20 minutes.
Off the heat, stir in half the mozzarella and half of the parmesan. Dot heaping tablespoons of the cottage cheese over the noodles, then sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella and parmesan. Cover and let stand off the heat until the cheese melts, 2 to 4 minutes. Serve.
I made this for dinner on Thursday night...I really like it a lot, and so do my kids. Its fairly easy. I've made this recipe twice now, and the first time around I used the ricotta cheese, which isn't my favorite. So, this time, I used the old lasagna standby, cottage cheese, instead and it was a winner...much better.