Sicilian Beef & Vegetable Casserole
|Salad oil||1 Tablespoon|
|Lean ground beef||1 1⁄2 Pound|
|Carrots||4 Medium, diced|
|Onion||1 Large, chopped|
|Mushrooms||1⁄4 Pound, sliced|
|Canned tomato paste||12 Ounce (2 Can)|
|Canned tomatoes||1 Pound (1 Can)|
|Dry sherry/Water||2⁄3 Cup (10.67 tbs)|
|Dry basil||1 1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Garlic powder||1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Elbow macaroni/Other medium-size fancy-shaped pasta||6 Ounce|
|Boiling salted water||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
|Frozen chopped spinach||12 Ounce, thawed and drained (1 Package)|
|Shredded cheddar cheese||6 Ounce (1 1/2 Cups)|
In a wide frying pan over medium heat, add oil.
When oil is hot, add beef and cook until browned and crumbly.
Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a Dutch oven or 3-quart pan.
To pan drippings, add carrots, onion, and mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
Add to meat along with tomato paste, tomatoes and their liquid (break up tomatoes with a spoon), sherry, salt, sugar, basil, oregano, pepper, and garlic powder.
Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, following package directions, cook pasta in a large kettle of boiling salted water until al dente; drain and combine with spinach.
Place half the pasta mixture in a greased 9 by 13-inch baking pan; top with half the meat sauce and 1/2 cup of the cheese.
Repeat layers, sprinkling remaining 1 cup cheese on top.
If made ahead, cover and refrigerate until next day.
Bake, uncovered, in a 375° oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until heated through.