Sunday, March 7, 2004

A penne for your thoughts, Tony



By The Associated Press

If there's one thing Tony Soprano's going to miss the most, it's Carm's baked ziti. So, for a dish that will please the family or the gang, try this recipe. It should take you about 30 minutes to prepare.

Baked Penne With Meat Sauce

8 ounces dried penne

14-ounce can whole Italian-style tomatoes

1/2 of a 6-ounce can ( 1/3 cup) Italian-style tomato paste

1/4 cup dry red wine or tomato juice

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed,

or 2 teaspoons snipped fresh oregano

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 pound lean ground beef

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup sliced pitted ripe olives

1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese (2 ounces)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well.

Meanwhile, in blender or food processor, combine undrained tomatoes, tomato paste, wine or tomato juice, sugar, dried oregano, if using, and pepper. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Set aside.

In a large skillet, cook ground beef and onion until meat is brown. Drain off the fat. Stir in tomato mixture. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in pasta, fresh oregano, if using, and olives.

Divide pasta mixture among six 10- to 12-ounce individual casseroles. Bake, covered, in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake, uncovered, about 5 minutes more or until cheese melts. Makes 6 servings.

'Simply Perfect Italian' (Better Homes & Gardens; $5.99)




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