Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Crockpot rigatoni bake

Short posts this week, busy getting back into the swing of things with a routine. I was in Texas a couple weekends ago and only back for 3 days to work before taking off to be a bridesmaid in my friend's wedding this was a gorgeous wedding with a beautiful bride and a handsome, loving groom and everything went off without a hitch. I'm a little jealous that they are in Jamaica as we speak, and then get the Thanksgiving holiday off, so they are getting about a 3 week vacation right now...but besides that Im happy to be back at work and my schedule.

Sunday I didn't get much done at home except some much needed relaxing after a busy couple of weeks, and a few dinners made for the week so I wouldn't have to worry about cooking in the evenings.  I have much more exciting things to worry about like getting the mountain of laundry tamed and getting the house cleaned and menu organized for Thanksgiving next week...

So if you're looking for an easy crockpot meal during the week...this is it, folks. Perfection.

2 lbs ground beef (I used Italian seasoned ground turkey)
4 cups beef broth
15 oz can of tomato sauce
12 oz can of tomato paste
1 small onion, chopped
1 t oregano
2 t basil
1 t fennel seed
2 t salt
1 T sugar
1 t black pepper
2 T crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 box rigatoni noodles
2 cans mushrooms
2-3 cups shredded cheese (colby jack, mozz, etc)
1 container ricotta cheese (I used reduced fat)

Brown the turkey and onion and drain before putting it in your lined crockpot. 

In a mixing bowl, add the beef broth, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and spices....whisk together well and then pour on top of the meat mixture. 

Stir together and then cook on high for 4 hours (or add to the fridge to start the next morning, and cook on low for 8 hours while you're at work).

Add the dry unboiled rigatoni and make sure you push them under the sauce and mix them all together.

Add the ricotta to the crockpot by spooning tablespoons of it in random spots and gently push down on the ricotta to submerge it as well (don't stir).

Continue to cook on low for 30 minutes and then sprinkle the surface with shredded cheese.  Put the lid back on for about 5 minutes or until cheese is nicely melted.  Serve! 

I will say that this makes a heckuva lot of pasta! This meal would feed 6 adults easily, or work great for leftovers all week...which is my plan.  I absolutely love this and will be making it again (it's sort of lasagna-esque), I never knew the crockpot got hot enough to boil noodles that quickly so this is an exciting lesson for me.  Im easily entertained, I know...

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  1. This is on the menu for tomorrow!

  2. And we're having leftovers tonight as well :)

  3. Im a little slow... so I can add everything including noodles- cook low for 8 hrs? Then after 8 hrs add the ricotta?