This pasta dish is packed with textures and flavors… and lots of veggies!
- 1 cup finely diced onion
- 1 cup finely diced green pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 can (28 oz.) tomatoes with liquid, cut up (or I often use petite diced tomatoes)
- 1 can (4 oz.) mushrooms, drained & chopped
- 1 can (2-1/4 oz.) sliced ripe olives, drained & chopped
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1.5 lb. ground beef, browned and drained, optional
- 16 oz. penne, cooked according to package and drained
- 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 can (10-3/4 oz.) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
- 1/4 cup milk or water
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- In a large skillet, sauté onion, green pepper, and garlic in oil until tender.
- Add tomatoes, mushrooms, olives and oregano.
- Add (browned & drained) ground beef if desired.
- Simmer uncovered for at least 10 minutes (I've let it simmer up to an hour...your house will smell divine!).
- Place half of the penne in a greased 13x9x2 in. baking dish.
- Top with half the vegetable mixture.
- Sprinkle with 1 cup of cheddar cheese.
- Repeat layers.
- Mix the soup and milk until smooth; pour over casserole.
- Sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese.
- Bake uncovered at 350° F. for 30-35 minutes or until heated through.
- *Note* You could easily use fresh mushrooms and tomatoes, the lower fat cheeses and the low-salt soup instead. You could also substitute for a different type of pasta (I prefer penne or ziti) and ground turkey instead of beef! I also use mozzarella instead of or with cheddar sometimes. Better the next day like most casseroles/soups are. Freezes well.