Nothing says Italian food more than a great tomato sauce, pasta, and mozzarella cheese. Combine all three of those together with some spices and seasoning and you have the makings of a great tasty dish that the whole family can enjoy. Good food and good times with your family and friends go hand in hand. Nowadays in this world of electronics and constant interruptions it is nice to just tune everything out and sit down with your family for a delicious home cooked meal. To make this even more enjoyable you can get the whole family involved in preparing and serving a delicious recipe.
We recently set out on such a venture this past Friday. I sent my husband and son on a mission to get the best ingredients to create a scrumptious Tuscan inspired recipe. It is inspired by Bertolli pasta sauce and my Friend Gina’s of SkinnyTaste recipe. I liked this recipe a lot because it was very easy to make, very kid friendly with an added veggies and there’s no need to pre-cook the pasta! The recipe is also called for grass-fed organic chop meat, macaroni pasta, mushrooms, onions, crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and fresh mozzarella cheese.
A usual 30-minute trip to the market took my husband and son about an hour. For some reason whenever I send the men out to the market they seem to lose track of time. And they always come back with more stuff than I asked them to get. My husband’s excuse, “It was on sale. How can you pass up a deal like that?” Needless to say he ends up going a little crazy when it comes to those 2 for $3 sales. So after they finally get back to the house, my daughter and I get to work preparing our special family dinner dish. She washed the mushrooms while I got to work browning the onions and chop meat. She then sliced the onions and mushrooms into manageable pieces and I chopped them using my handy-dandy magic chopper. All this talk about food is starting to get me hungry again. To save time here is a copy of the recipe I used:
Easy Macaroni and Cheese Casserole
- 1 lb lean ground turkey
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1/4 cup finely diced celery
- 1/4 cup finely diced carrots
- 1 cup finely chopped mushrooms
- 1 (14.5 oz can) petite diced tomatoes, drained
- 2 cups marinara sauce (I used Bertolli)
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
- 8 oz uncooked whole wheat elbows
In a large deep non-stick skillet, brown the ground turkey over high heat until cooked through, seasoning with a pinch of salt and breaking it up into smaller pieces as it cooks. Set aside on a dish.
Add olive oil to the skillet, reduce heat to medium and add the onion, celery and carrots; sauté until the vegetables are soft, about 6 to 7 minutes.
Return the turkey to the skillet along with the remaining ingredients except for the pasta and cheese.
Bring to a boil and then lower heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes. While simmering, heat oven to 350°F.
Spoon just enough of the turkey/vegetable mixture to cover the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Cover the uncooked pasta. Spoon remaining sauce mixture evenly over the top and sprinkle with cheese.
Cover with foil and bake 50 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand, covered, for 15 minutes.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Bertolli and Kroger. I created this recipe and received compensation to do so. Regardless, I only share products I like and use in my own kitchen.
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