Home of Rhett & Link fans - the Mythical Beasts!
Mythical Fettuccine Alfredo
KICKIN' PASTA SALAD
This can be served as-is for a vegetarian friendly main dish, or kick it up further by tossing in some slices of peperoni!
1 lb Penne pasta
1 lb Rotini pasta
8 oz block medium/sharp cheddar cheese (according to taste) cut to small chunks
4-6 oz fresh grated parmesan cheese
4 stalks celery
2 cups red/yellow/green bell peppers
2 medium red onions
Italian salad dressing (8 oz bottle)
sliced black olives (4 oz can)
Chop all the veggies ahead of time * -- I prefer large chunky pieces
Boil pasta in salted water 6-8 minutes until al dente (follow box directions)
Chill in ice water to stop the cooking, drain well and set in large mixing bowl
Toss in the veggies, olives, cheeses and mix well with Italian dressing
Adjust with salt and black pepper to taste. SERVE CHILLED
* I've made this recipe before in batches large enough to serve over 200 people, dicing the veggies the night before and storing in ZipLock bags until ready to mix. Once prepared, it keeps well in a covered pan or bags for up to 2 days.
BAKED PENNE PASTA
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds ground beef (or mix w/ Italian sausage)
1 can (28 ounce size) whole tomatoes, with juice
2 cans (14.5 ounce) tomato sauce or marinara sauce
2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and Pepper, to taste
16 ounces whole wheat penne pasta
1 tub (15 ounces) whole milk ricotta cheese
1-1/2 pounds mozzarella cheese, grated
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
Add diced onions and garlic and saute for several minutes, or until starting to soften.
Add ground beef and cook until browned.
Drain off fat, leaving a bit behind for flavor and moisture.
Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
Stir and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes.
After that time, remove 3 to 4 cups of the sauce to a different bowl to cool down.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Begin to boil your pasta. Make sure to undercook it a tad--especially if freezing!
In a separate bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, 2 cups of the grated mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, and a dash of salt and pepper.
Drain the pasta and rinse under cool water to stop the cooking.
Pour it into the bowl with the cheese mixture and barely mix it together.
Add the cooled meat sauce that you set aside earlier and toss to combine.
Dump the pasta mixture into a large greased casserole dish or lasagna dish.
Spoon the remaining sauce over the top, then top with remaining mozzarella cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbling.
Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving.
HINT: This is a great recipe to expand for crowds (I've done for conference meal feeding 150+). Pre-cook the sauce and mix into baking dishes a day or two ahead, then just pop into the oven to finish off baking and melt the cheeses 1 hour prior to serving.