Baked Rigatoni for the Fifth Sunday in Lent

Today is the 5th Sunday in the Lenten Season. We are reminded that God sees us in our weakened state of imperfection and yet He loves us. “The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy” – Psalm 126

We’ve talked about Sunday celebrations and the importance of that precious family time. While a roast chicken is awesome for Sunday Supper, sometimes a simple casserole is even better.

Simple means less time cooking, more time gathered together with those who rock our world. For me, it’s my guys. They drive me crazy, make me laugh and keep me flexible. That’s important. If you try to control life then you cannot bend, and if you cannot bend then you will break.

I’m a traditionalist, very much set in my ways. Sometimes I don’t even know why things have to be just so, they just do. Years ago, we had a table with six chairs. I stained the table and chairs, then painted Kokopelli images on the front and back of each chair. They were mirrored images of the chair across the table. The chairs had to be in a particular order to see the mirrored images. Hubby would rearrange the chairs, knowing this would make me crazy. And then he would ask “Is the world coming to an end?” It was his way of letting me know it’s okay if the world isn’t orderly. Sometimes I even managed to leave the chairs alone – for about a day.

Kiddo will do the same thing. He will put the steak knives in their block upside down. Then he will rearrange the other knives. I put them away smallest to the left, largest to the right, with the blades pointing to the left. Sometimes he will rearrange the order of the knives or turn the direction just to let me know I’m a bit crazy. Hey, I even arrange my cutting boards in a particular order. Spices are alphabetized. Pastas arranged by size. I’m just grateful that, while my guys will mess with things, they leave the pastas and spices alone.

Having my ingredients readily accessible at my fingertips sure helps in the kitchen. Even when making a simple casserole.

Baked Rigatoni
8 oz Rigatoni Pasta
Kosher Salt to taste
1 lb Ground Beef
Italian Seasoning to taste
1 (26 oz) jar Tomato Pasta Sauce
2 cups Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese

Heat oven to 350-degrees. Spray a large 3-quart casserole dish with cooking spray, set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Cook pasta al dente. Drain, return pasta to the pot.

While the pasta cooks, crumble the ground beef in a skillet. Season with Italian seasoning; brown beef over medium-high heat until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Drain well. Add ground meat to the pot with the cooked pasta.

Add pasta sauce and 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese to pot with pasta and beef; stir to combine, then pour into baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese and the Parmesan cheese.

Cover with foil; bake about 25 minutes or until casserole is heated through.

Serve this hearty pasta bake with a side of green salad and warm bread for a complete supper.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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