The crunchiness of the green bell pepper and the tomato makes this layered Pasta dish special. I have loads of pasta recipes, either from cookbooks or my own made up over the years.
Most pasta dishes however, are a creamy or a cheesy affair. Even though this recipe contains cheese (of course it does, we are the cheese addicts on the block!), it is most definitely the use of raw green bell pepper and tomato that puts this in a different class.
If you use wholewheat macaroni, extra-lean ground beef and low-fat cheddar .. it will qualify as healthy and low-fat. I do not even think it will make the slightest bit of difference in taste.
This is also my husband's most requested dinner when I mention pasta for the evening meal. He also likes to add more cheese after I have dished up, but seriously, this is more than enough cheese for me.
Start the meat mixture once you have the pasta boiling and everything should be ready at the same time, which only leaves the layering and a quick bake in the oven - perfect week night meal.
Layered Pasta Dish
Recipe adapted by me from Eenskotteltreffers
2 TB Butter
1 Large Onion, chopped
250g Mushrooms, sliced
750g Lean Ground Beef
Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cups Cheddar Cheese, grated
1 Large Tomato, peeled and chopped
1 Large Green Bell Pepper, chopped
1.) Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C (350 deg F) - Spray a large oven dish with cooking oil.
2.) Cook the Macaroni as per the instructions on the bag.
3.) Meanwhile, using a large skillet, saute the Onion and Mushrooms in the Butter until soft and nicely browned - add the Ground Beef and stir-fry until cooked - season with Salt and Black Pepper.
4.) Drain the Macaroni - use half of the cooked Macaroni for the bottom layer in the prepared oven dish - sprinkle 1/3 of the Cheddar Cheese over the Macaroni - spoon half of the Meat mixture on top of the Cheese layer, followed by half the Green Bell Pepper and half the Tomato.
5.) Repeat the layers in the same order, ending with the remaining 1/3 of the Cheddar Cheese - Bake 20 - 25 minutes or until heated through and the cheese has melted.
Remove from the oven - let stand for 3 - 5 minutes and serve.
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