Sunday, May 24, 2009

Pasta Bolognese Bake with Garlic Bread

A few weeks back I mentioned that I had written an article about a local botanical garden for Oklahoma Living Magazine. If you’re interested you can find it here:

And whilst I’m on the subject of writing, last week, I got my entries back from the Oklahoma Writer’s Federation contest. I won a big fat zero this year, not even so much as a measly honorable mention. Oh hum. On the plus side, I did get some excellent marks from the judges and some very favorable comments, but I guess others just did better. Oh well, you can’t win them all, and there’s always next year.

And continuing the literary theme, a couple of friends from my writer’s group were recently bemoaning the fact that though they like lasagna, they find it a fiddle to make. I told them I had a much easier pasta bake recipe, personally I prefer it to lasagna, and any leftovers freeze beautifully. So this one’s for you Sharon and Margaret.

If you like you can leave out the baking stage and use this as a pasta sauce. Omit the cheeses, and just sprinkle the finished dish with a little shredded Parmesan.

Pasta Bolognese Bake with Garlic Bread
Serves 4


8 ounces penne pasta
½ tablespoon butter
1 lb. ground sirloin
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 – 3 teaspoons chili powder
1 14½ ounce can whole tomatoes (I used my tomato gloop, you can find that recipe here:
3 tablespoons tomato paste
A couple of dashes of Tabasco sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 level teaspoon sugar
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded (divided)
½ cup sharp cheddar, shredded

Note: Seasonings, spices, and herb quantities are all guesstimates, I just tinker around until it’s how I like it.

Easy Peasy Garlic Bread


½ a French loaf, cut in half lengthwise
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped – use less if you want, but I like garlic bread that tastes of garlic
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, + about 2 teaspoons butter.

Directions for pasta bake:
  • Cook pasta for about 5 minutes, drain and set aside.
  • Melt butter in a deep-sided skillet, over a medium-high heat, add ground beef and saute until browned.
  • Reduce heat to medium, add onion, and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add garlic and chili powder and sauté for a further minute.
  • Add canned tomatoes, and break tomatoes in half, bring to a gentle boil. Stir in tomato paste.
  • Add Tabasco, Worcestershire sauces, oregano, black pepper, and sugar, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile pre-heat oven to 350F
  • Spoon a layer of about a 1/3 of the sauce into an 11x7-inch baking dish and top with ¾ of the mozzarella.
  • Stir pasta and mushrooms into remaining sauce, and transfer to baking dish. Top with remaining cheeses and bake for about 20 - 25 minutes, until cheese is bubbly.
While pasta bakes prepare garlic bread.
  • Spread each half of French loaf with approximately 2 teaspoons butter, and place on a baking sheet covered with foil for easy clean up.
  • Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Add garlic, and sauté for 1 minute.
  • Spoon garlic butter evenly over bread, and set aside.
  • When pasta is out of the oven, heat broiler to high.
  • Place garlic bread under broiler for 2-3 minutes until bread is golden brown. Keep a close eye on it, as it’s easy to burn it.


Donna-FFW said...

I love the sound of this classic dish as a bake. What a great idea, and the garlic bread is the perfect partner.

Jason said...

Oh Yum, this is my kind of dish! I love any pasta with cheese and a yummy tomato sauce! I agree, lasagna is way too much work, especially when you can get the same flavor with a lot less fussing.

Pam said...

Now this is my idea of comfort food - I am loving this recipe. The garlic bread look perfect too.

Lynda said...

So sorry about the dissapointing contest, but the great marks are encouraging!
This dish is comfort food at it's best! There's nothing like a great pasta dish and garlic bread!
Great pictures, too,Jan.

Maria said...

Classic comfort food! Love it!

Mediterranean kiwi said...

garlic bread - i havent had that since i left new zealand - this is very tempting!

David Hall said...

Hey, well done on the article Jan! Really good.


Sophie said...

OOOOOOHHHHH,....Jan! this pasta bake & garlic bread looks so lovely! I would totally go for it right now! Yummie all the way,...

Dazy said...

Since you already know, I like your recipes, just wanted to tell you that I tried this dish last weekend and it was amazing! Thank you so much for the recipe, it is one we will be enjoying again and again!

Jan said...

Dazy, thank you so much, I'm so glad you enjoyed this recipe, it's one of our faves too.

I have tried to reply to your comments before, but it seems yours is a no-reply address, that's why I'm doing it here.

sue said...