I was in charge of picking the meals for dinner this week and I found this recipe in the most recent issue of Cooking Light. It sounded like something that we could make easily. It also seemed like something that we could prepare enough of just in case Theodore brought some of his friends home with him.

It turned out to be a pretty good recipe. If you have some growing kids, you might want to try it. Here’s all that you need to do…and by the way, the recipe had the boring title in Cooking Light of Ground Beef and Pasta Casserole.

Start by finely chopping 1 medium onion in a food processor. Add 2 large carrots and continue to pulse until finely chopped. While you are doing this, preheat oven to 350°.

Heat a large high-sided sauté pan over medium heat. Add a few tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Add the onion mixture and cook for 4 minutes. Add 4 minced garlic cloves and cook for another 2 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of dried Italian seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add 1 pound of ground beef and cook 5 minutes. Stir in 3 1/2 cups of chicken stock, 4 tablespoons chopped basil, 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar, 12 ounces of (whole-wheat) pasta such as rigatoni or fusilli, and 1 26-ounce carton of strained tomatoes. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 13 minutes or until pasta is almost done, stirring frequently. Stir in another 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Arrange 4 ounces of mozzarella over pasta mixture. Sprinkle with 1 ounce (about 1/4 cup) of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until pasta is done.

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