So the song goes, but did you know that a bit of this and a bit of that can make a wonderful meal? Read on, my dear readers, and you will see.
Here’s how it all started, a few days ago I made gluten free pasta with meat sauce. We ate all the sauce but you know how there always seems to be more noodles than sauce left? That’s how it is around here at least. So anyway, I put a bag of penne noodles in my fridge and figured I would use them for something later. Then, I made meatloaf the next day. Meatloaf is something you can only eat for a day or two and, ugh, you can’t even look at it anymore. However, it was really good and I didn’t want to waste it so I stuck that in the fridge with the noodles, and didn’t think about it until two days ago. I didn’t feel like cooking a new meal, and I was once again pondering the noodles and meatloaf in my fridge.
I make an Italian style meatloaf, as I wrote about in my blog post, “It’s an American meal staple, but did you know it’s healthy?!”. So that was my inspiration as I thought, “meatloaf, pasta, baked ziti!” Well it wasn’t quite that quick, but I though about making some kind of baked pasta dish using the meatloaf as kind of a meatball, so I started looking around on the Internet for ideas.
Oh I also didn’t tell you that I hadn’t been to the grocery store since I moved, actually I hadn’t been to the store since a few weeks before we moved because I was trying to have less food to move. Therefore I was limited to what I could make. I saw a lasagna recipe using meatloaf but since I didn’t have ricotta cheese I decided to turn it into a baked pasta dish. It is quick, easy and delicious, take a look!
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 14 ounce can chopped tomatoes
- 1 14 ounce can tomato purée
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 one inch slices leftover meatloaf
- 4 cups cooked pasta- any kind
- 1 8 ounce bag of shredded mozzerella cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat your EVOO in a pan on the stove and chop your onions and garlic. Add the onions and sauté until softened, then add the garlic and red pepper flakes for about a minute. Next, pour the tomatoes and tomato purée into the pan and let that warm up for a minute or two. Salt and pepper to taste.
Chop your meatloaf slices or pull them apart with your fingers and add them to the pan for about 3 minutes. Stir the pasta and 1/3 of the cheese in until they are combined with the sauce and meatloaf. Then, pour all of that into a baking pan. I sprayed the pan with a bit of organic olive oil cooking spray first though so the baked pasta wouldn’t stick.
Add the rest of the cheese to the top and bake for 15 minutes or until slightly browned. If you’re so inclined, sprinkle Parmesan cheese on before serving. I made a salad, poured the wine and that was it!
It really tasted yummy and it was pretty amazing that I made that out of leftovers. In addition, the ground beef has plenty of protein and iron, the tomatoes have lycopene and other antioxidants, and the cheese has calcium and other vitamins so you’re eating something that’s good for you too.