Cheesy Cavatini - Cassies Way

Cassie *

By
@1lovetocook1x

I had my folks over for dinner this evening. This meal is what was requested...its so darn good. Easy and tasty...can't beat that... my mom used to make this when growing up...I changed a few things to my liking...everyone just loves it...I hope you try it...

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Serves:

6 - 8

Prep:

55 Min

Cook:

45 Min

Method:

Bake

Ingredients

1 lb
ground beef
2
links sweet or hot italian sausage, removed from casing
1 large
green bell pepper, chopped
1 large
onion, chopped
4 clove
garlic, minced
7 oz
package, sliced pepperoni - halved ( all but about 15 slices ) )
1 tsp
salt
1 tsp
pepper
1 1/2 tsp
italian seasoning or 1 tsp basil, 1/2 tsp oregano
2 - 24 oz
spaghetti sauce
1 - 6 oz
tomato paste
3/4 c
water (optional)
1 Tbsp
brown sugar
5 - 6 c
pastas ( i used two cups of each - rigatoni, penne, cavatappi ) prepared as to manufacturers instructions ( not quite al dente )
30 oz
ricotta cheese
2 c
shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 c
grated parmesan cheese
1 - 8 oz
package, mozzarella cheese slices

PREP TIME INCLUDES THE TIME IT TAKES TO SIMMER SAUCE

Directions Step-By-Step

1
Preheat oven to 350 degree F.

Spray a 9 x 13 or larger deep dish casserole pan with non stick cooking spray. Set aside.

Prepare pasta, not quite al dente.
2
In a large skillet, add 2 - 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Over medium heat, combine ground beef, sausage, pepperoni, onion, green pepper, garlic and seasonings until vegetables are tender and beef, sausage are cooked through. Drain; return to pan.
3
Now, stir in the tomato paste.
4
Add the sauce and brown sugar. Cover and simmer for 30 - 40 minutes. Stirring occasionally(If getting too thick; stir in the 1/2 - 3/4 cup water to thin out, you don't want the sauce too thin, but not too thick either.)
5
In a large bowl; mix together cooked / drained pasta, ricotta, 2 cups mozzarella, and Parmesan.
6
In prepared baking dish or pan; coat bottom with about 1 cup sauce. Now, add about 3 cups pasta/cheese mixture. Spread evenly.
7
Now, add 2 - 2 1/2 cups meat sauce; spread evenly.
8
Repeat layers, ending with sauce.
9
Place the mozzarella slices evenly on top of the sauce.

I then placed the saved pepperoni on top of the cheese. Optional

Bake the Cavatini 30 - 45 minutes, or until browning and bubbly.
10
Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
11
I served this with a tossed salad, and crusty Italian bread. Tastes like lasagna, but without the fuss...delish!!!

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Beef, Pasta, Casseroles
Main Ingredient: Pasta
Regional Style: Italian