I’ve never understood the people that eat those uncrustable sandwiches.
You know the ones – they come in a box in the freezer section. Rounds of bread, with no crust, filled with peanut butter and jelly.
Things I don’t get:
1. Frozen sandwich, really? You can’t slap some pb&j on bread? I think it takes less time to do it fresh than to thaw the frozen sandwich.
2. Rounds of white bread with all traces of a crust removed? No thank you.
Maybe I don’t get it because I’ve always liked a good crust.
The heels of freshly baked bread.
The crispy, crumbly top of a scratch made macaroni and cheese.
The ends of a meatloaf.
The top layer of Thanksgiving stuffing.
The buttery edges of a hot-out-of-the-oven biscuit.
I love the crunchy mixed with the creamy. Crisp with smooth. End with middle.
Last week, I had some tomato sauce and ground beef leftover in the fridge and no ideas.
But then I saw my cast iron skillet and – click – I knew what I was making for dinner.
Whole wheat penne cooked and then crisped up in the skillet with onion and garlic, tossed with tomato sauce, covered in cheese, and baked. If you didn’t know, cast iron pans give just about everything a good crust: pancakes, fried chicken, biscuits. And if you don’t have one, you need one. You will fall in love – you can make anything in it, and they’re super easy to clean.
So this pasta. I wanted it encased with a crust.
Crispy on every edge, cheesy and creamy in the middle.
If you don’t eat your crusts, you can pass it to me.
Skillet Baked Penne
Makes: 4-6 servings
- 8 oz. dry whole wheat penne
- 1/2 lb lean ground beef
- 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 Tbsp oregano
- 1 Tbsp parsley
- 1/2 Tbsp basil
- 3/4 cup mozzarella, shredded
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Bring large pot of water to a boil and add pasta. Cook 8-10 minutes until al dente. Drain and rinse.
- While pasta is cooking, heat cast iron pan over medium heat on stove top.
- Add beef, and cook, breaking up with a spoon, 5-10 minutes or until the beef is cooked and no longer pink.
- Remove beef from the pan.
- Add olive oil to the pan and toss in garlic and onion.
- Cook 2-3 minutes until fragrant and softened.
- Add in drained and rinsed pasta. Let the pasta sit and cook 4-5 minutes or until the bottom layer is golden and some edges of pasta are browning a bit.
- Stir in the beef, tomato sauce, salt, pepper, and seasonings.
- Sprinkle the cheese on top of the pasta and place in the oven.
- Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and melted.
- Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before serving.