Red Lentil Pasta-Napoli Style, is the second of two recipes I created to show how marinara sauce can be used as an ingredient in a variety of dishes. The first one was Gluten Free Eggplant Parmesan, which I posted last Saturday. Casseroles like this are great because they can be made in advance, and actually taste better the next day.
To make things easy, you can buy marinara sauce at your local supermarket. If you would like to make it, click on Marinara Sauce – An Italian Essential for my recipe.
- 10 oz box of red lentil pasta (believe it or not, I bought this at Walmart. It only has one ingredient listed on the box–red lentil flour. That’s it, and water Of course.)
- 1 lb of ground pork ( we are blessed to have this special Berkshire ground pork provided to us by our neighbors, Rose and James, at Peach Creek Farm.)
- 2 lbs of ground beef ( this Austin bred & fed ground beef is from K & C Cattle Co. which is owned by Patrick, an Army veteran of the 1st Ranger Battalion.)
- 20 ounces of grated Parmesan (I usually grate my own, but I found this grated Parmigiano-Reggiano imported from Italy at Costco. It is the real thing with absolutely no additives.)
- 24 ounces of marinara sauce
- 2 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Coat a heavy duty stainless steel pan with olive oil
- Add the ground meat, break it up into bite sized pieces.
- Saute until brown
- Add the marinara sauce
- Cook for about 10 minutes until the marinara sauce is bubbling
- Add the pasta
- Stir it in
- Cook for 4 minutes. At this point it will be par cooked. It will finish cooking when we bake the casserole in the oven.
- Adjust salt and pepper to taste
ASSEMBLY: the casserole is assembled in 4 layers using a 9 X 11 baking dish.
Layer 1 – spread half the pasta mixture
Layer 2 – sprinkle 1/3 of the cheese
Layer 3 – spread the last half of the pasta mixture
Layer 4 – sprinkle 2/3 of the cheese
I like to make the top layer of cheese thicker so that I can get a really cheesy, golden crust. Its the best part.
Cover with foil. Bake in a 350 F oven for 30 minutes. Then remove the foil, and bake for another 15 minutes at 400 F to get the golden brown and delicious crust. 😋
Remove the casserole from the oven and let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes before serving. This a great meal to pack for lunch, or make ahead for a quick supper after work. It is filling, nutritious, and yummy.
On days when my husband is working on the ranch, he gets very hungry and will end up eating a big piece as soon as he comes indoors. Here is a piece he plated for himself.
I like the way it cuts into a sturdy slice. It almost looks like lasagna.
Please try this and let me know what you think in the comments section.
Next Saturday, I will be posting an unusual and easy Indian vegetable recipe. Be on the lookout for it.
Ciao for now 🖐