Thursday, July 5, 2007

Two-Saucy MockZagna

This recipe started out as Rachel Ray's "Not-Sagna," but I made a number of alterations, including the use of jarred spaghetti sauce, so I changed the name. You can reference her original recipe here. The beauty of this dish is that it has all of the flavor of labor-intensive lasagna, but it takes much much less time and effort, making it perfect for a weeknight meal.

Cori's Two-Saucy MockZagna

1 lb ground beef (with additional crumbled Italian sausage, if desired), browned
1 minced onion
3 cloves of garlic, pressed
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 lb. short-cut pasta (I used rigatoni, but whatever you've got is fine)
1 c. ricotta
1/3 c. parmesan
1/4 c. shredded mozzarella
2 Tbsp. fresh basil, chiffonaded, or 2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning

1) Brown beef. When it has lost its pink, add the onion and garlic, and let that work for a minute or two.

2) Prepare pasta according to package directions, reserving 1/3-1/2 c. of the water for the ricotta sauce.

3) To the beef mixture, add the spaghetti sauce and the stewed tomatoes (smush the tomatoes up with your hands before you add them), and let this sit over medium heat until you need it.

4) In the bottom of a large bowl, mix together ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella, basil, salt and pepper to taste, and add the reserved pasta water. Stir well.

5) Add the pasta to the ricotta sauce, then add 1/3 of the spaghetti sauce to that; toss to combine.

6) Spoon additional spaghetti sauce over the top and sprinkle with additional mozzarella, if desired.

Serves 6.

So easy, and so YUM! If you put a lid on the pasta pot to bring the water to a boil faster, the whole shebang can go from start to finish in 20 minutes or so!

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