Monday, August 22, 2011

Baked Shells with Pesto, Mozzarella, and Meat Sauce

I thought I had blogged this one a long time ago but when I found these pictures while cleaning out my iPhoto I realized I hadn't! The first time I made this recipe, I substituted the mini shells with stuffed shells-Neil's a big fan of food he can eat with his hands. This time, since it was just for me, I made it easier on myself by just using the mini shells.

Baked Shells with Pesto, Mozzarella, and Meat Sauce

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1.25 lbs ground beef
28 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
2 tsp salt
3/4 cup pesto
1 pound pasta shells
2 cups shredded mozzarella
6 tbsp grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 400ยบ. Coat a 15 x 10 baking dish with cooking spray. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it starts to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook until meat is no longer pink. Drain if needed.Add the tomatoes and salt to the pan and simmer until most of the liquid evaporates, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in pesto.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and toss with sauce. Put half of the pasta mixture into the baking dish. Top with 1 cup of mozzarella and 3 tablespoons of Parmesan. Repeat with the remaining pasta mixture and cheese.

Bake until bubbling and slightly brown on top, about 15 minutes. Enjoy!