Seems I’ve been in a Penne State of Existence lately. Yesterday with our Slow-cooker Chicken Cordon Bleu, and now today with a family favorite – pasta in a meat sauce. The nice thing about pasta dishes is that left-overs warm up nicely for a second bite.
Back before the shut-in madness; I cooked with left-overs in mind. My guys would much rather pack something I’ve made for a work lunch later in the week than a frozen lunch or a fast-food burger. No work means no need to pack a lunch. And that equates to more left-overs. These days rather than modify the recipe; we put together Left-Over Night. Basically; we pull out all the previous meals and create a smorgasbord. A little of this, a helping of that. It’s also clean out the fridge night; since we’ll be making room for the following week’s meals. One night a week when I don’t cook. At least not “from scratch”.
This Penne Dish is great as a casserole the second time around. Add a little wine to keep things moist; top with cheese for some gooey-goodness; and pop it in the oven until heated through. Whip up a salad or warm some bread and you’ve got a great second supper.
Oh, one more thing – this rendition calls for Feta Cheese. Kiddo put Feta on his despite the fact that I told him we had shaved Parmesan in the refrigerator. I made a face, gave his a try and wow! Feta over pasta is good.
Penne Pasta in a Meaty Sauce
1/2 small White Onion
2 Garlic Cloves
1 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 lb Ground Beef
1/2 lb Mild Italian Sausage
14.5 oz Italian Stewed Tomatoes with Basil
24 oz jar Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce
1/2 cup Red Wine
Italian Seasoning to taste
Kosher Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
8 oz Penna Pasta
Feta Cheese, optional garnish
Dice onion; mince garlic and set aside. Heat oil in a large; high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add diced onions, cook; stirring often; until onions are tender and somewhat translucent; about 3 to 4 minutes. Add minced garlic, cook until fragrant; about a minutes.
Crumble both meats over the onion mixture. Cook, breaking apart, until no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Drain well. Return to low heat.
Add stewed tomatoes, breaking into pieces. Add pasta sauce, stir to blend. Pour wine into the empty jar of pasta sauce, swirl to gather any sauce remaining in the jar. Pour wine into the skillet. Season with Italian Seasonings, salt and pepper to taste. Lower heat, partially cover and let simmer until ready to serve.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add pasta, stir to keep pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Cook in boiling water until just done, about 11 minutes.
Drain pasta, add to the meat sauce, stir to coat. Serve immediately with warm bread. Garnish pasta with Feta for added richness.