Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Baked Shells with Pesto, Mozzarella, and Meat Sauce

I made this dish last week.  It is simple and easy to pull together on a school night.  Plus, it is yummers.  I used ground buffalo, instead of ground beef, and you couldn't tell.  If anything, I like the buffalo better.  Hope you enjoy this if you make it at home.

*From Food & Wine


  • 1  tablespoon(s) cooking oil
  • 1   onion, chopped
  • 1  pound(s) ground beef
  • 2  cup(s) canned chopped tomatoes, drained (from one 28-ounce can)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1/2 cup(s) store-bought or homemade pesto
  • 3/4 pound(s) medium pasta shells
  • 6  ounce(s) mozzarella, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup(s) grated Parmesan

  1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Oil a large baking dish (about 9 by 13 inches).
  2. In a large stainless-steel frying pan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the ground beef and cook, breaking it up, until the meat is no longer pink, about 2 minutes. Drain off any excess fat.
  3. Add the tomatoes and salt to the pan and bring to a simmer. Cook until most of the liquid evaporates, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the pesto.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the shells until just done, about 10 minutes. Drain and toss with the sauce. Put half of the pasta into the prepared baking dish and top with half the mozzarella and 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan. Repeat with the remaining pasta, mozzarella, and Parmesan. Bake until bubbling, about 15 minutes.
  5. Wine Recommendation: This robust dish with its meat and tomatoes calls for a gutsy red wine from Italy. A Chianti Classico Riserva's medium body, dried-cherry flavor, high acidity and moderate tannins will fill the bill perfectly.

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