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Quick & Easy Weeknight Pasta Bake
February 21, 2019

Quick & Easy Weeknight Pasta Bake

Everyone wants a recipe that is quick and easy for those week nights when you are running around taking the kids to their sporting activities, music lessons, dance lessons and of course having to fit work into that schedule can sometimes be a chore!  Well, this recipe will help you get dinner on the table quickly and easily.  What makes this recipe so quick and easy is you can do most of it in your Vitamix blender.

Vitamix blenders are here to make your life easier for those hectic weeks.  There are hundreds of recipes you can make using your Vitamix blender.  Recipes range from casserole dishes, pasta dishes, pizza, sauces, dips, smoothies, pancakes, different types of milks, butters and desserts, just to name a few. If you have an imagination, then the list is endless when using your Vitamix blender.  I’ve made garlic butters, lemon pancakes and almond milk with my Vitamix and now I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT IT!!!

A little history behind the blender…a small electric motor was invented in 1910 named the fractional horsepower motor.   This little motor ran on AC or DC electricity which allowed it to be plugged in and power an array of future household machines including the blender.  In 1922 Stephen Poplawski is credited for inventing the first liquefier blender.  Poplawski was the first to place blades that spin in the base of the container, thus the blender is born.  This revolutionized cooking and today almost every household has a blender.  When I first purchased a blender, I would only use it to make slushy cocktails, now with the Vitamix blender it is a whole new ballgame!  Vitamix has turned the blender industry on its head with their technology allowing you to make incredible drinks, sauces, main dishes, etc…

Vitamix has a huge loyal following as do All Clad and Le Creuset.  These are three of the premier cookware brands in the industry with products ranging for the novice cook to professional chefs.  And, the reason is clear, their technology is some of the most regarded in the culinary industry.

Enough with the short history lesson, let’s see how quick and easy this Weeknight Pasta Bake recipe is!

Weeknight Pasta Bake:

Weeknight Pasta Bake Recipe

This recipe feeds 4.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili peppers
  • 1 carrot, cut in half
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 onion, peeled and quarter with your chef’s knife
  • 2 pounds (910 g) tomatoes, quartered
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup shredded 4 cheeses (Romano, Parmesan, Asiago and Fontina) or you can just use Romano or Parmesan depending on your tastes.
  • 1 box Penne pasta or any pasta noodle of your choice

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350°.
  2. Heat your All Clad Non-Stick Fry Pan over medium heat.  Add ground beef and red chili flakes.  Brown and crumble. Set aside.
  3. While meat is browning, cook pasta according to directions in a 4 qt. All Clad Stainless Sauce pan, drain and set aside.
  4. Place all ingredients; carrot, olive oil, garlic, onion, tomatoes, oregano, basil, salt and pepper into a 64oz. Vitamix container and secure lid.  Select speed Variable 1. Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 5 or 6. Blend for 15 seconds or until desired consistency is reached.
  5. Pour marinara sauce into the ground beef and mix well.
  6. Transfer pasta to your (13x9) Le Creuset Casserole Dish and pour beef marinara sauce over pasta. Sprinkle cheese evenly over the top.
  7. Tightly put foil over the casserole dish. Place in oven and bake for 45-50 minutes or until bubbling.  Once it has begun to bubble, remove foil and brown for about 5-10 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes.
  9. Dish into pasta bowls, serve with a Caesar salad and enjoy!

This dish can also be made ahead of time and frozen, making dinner even easier, just thaw while you are at work and pop into the oven and heat at 350° for ~45 minutes until bubbly.