Baked Cavatelli

Baked Cavatelli

7 ounces dried cavatelli or wagon wheel macaroni
12 ounces uncooked Italian sausage links, sliced
1/2 inch thick, or lean ground beef
3/4 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 26-ounce jar pasta sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain; set aside.

  2. In a large skillet cook the sausage, onion, and garlic until sausage is brown; remove from skillet. Drain.

  3. In a large bowl stir together pasta sauce, 3/4 cup of the mozzarella cheese, and the pepper. Add the cooked pasta and the drained sausage mixture. Stir gently to combine. Spoon the mixture into a 2-quart casserole.*

  4. Bake, covered, in a 375¿ oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until nearly heated through. Uncover; sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese. Bake about 5 minutes more or until cheese is melted. Makes 5 to 6 servings.

Taco Pasta

8 ounces dried penne
2 pounds uncooked ground chicken (or turkey or beef)
1 cup chopped onion
1-1/2 cups water
1 1-1/4-ounce envelope taco seasoning mix
2 11-ounce cans whole kernel corn with sweet peppers, drained
2 cups sliced pitted ripe olives
2 cups ( 8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup salsa
2 4-ounce cans diced green chile peppers, drained
8 cups shredded lettuce
2 medium tomatoes, cut into thin wedges
Tortilla chips (optional)
Dairy sour cream (optional)

  1. Cook pasta according to directions; drain and set aside.

  2. Meanwhile, in a 12-inch skillet cook ground chicken and onion, half at a time, until meat is brown; drain fat. Return all of the chicken mixture to skillet. Stir in water and taco seasoning mix. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cooked pasta, corn, olives, half of the shredded cheese, salsa, and chile peppers.

  3. Transfer mixture to a lightly greased 3-quart rectangular casserole. Bake, covered, in a 350 degree F oven for 45 minutes or until heated through. Remove from oven; sprinkle with remaining cheese.

  4. Serve with lettuce, tomato wedges, and, if desired, tortilla chips and sour cream. Makes 12 servings.