Kalamata Cavatini


This dish was inspired by Mama Ang’s Cavatini at Just a Pinch, Baked Ziti by Jeanne Lemlin and my own ideas. Scroll all the way down for a vegetarian version.  The photo is of the first time I made it, before I got the olive inspiration.

3 links sweet Italian turkey or chicken sausage, casings removed
1/2 pound lean ground beef
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 green or red bell pepper, chopped fine
1 large yellow onion, chopped fine
1/2 pound mushrooms, chopped
1 jar pasta sauce
1 cup elbow macaroni
1 cup penne
1 cup rigatoni
2 cups shredded Muenster
16 oz. low-fat cottage cheese (optional)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (or a combo of basil and oregano)
1/2 cup quartered kalamata olives
1/4 cup Parmesan + more to pass at the table
fresh chopped basil and/or parsley for topping each serving, if you like

Oil a tall 9×12″ pan.

Fill a pasta pot 2/3 with water, add a teaspoon of salt, and bring to a boil over high heat.  Add pasta and cook 10 minutes or until al dente.  Drain well and set aside.

Meanwhile, brown meat in a large skillet, breaking into small bits.  Remove meat, set aside.  Wipe out the pan and set it back on the burner.  Add the olive oil, onion and green pepper.  Saute until soft, then add the mushrooms and saute another 3 minutes.  Stir in the olives, if everybody likes them.  If not, use them as topping on part of the dish before baking.

Combine the shredded cheese, optional cottage cheese, and Italian seasoning in a medium-sized bowl.

Put the pasta, meat, vegetables and the jar of sauce into the pasta pot and stir well.

Put half the pasta and sauce mixture in the bottom of the pan.  Top with half the cheese mixture.  Add rest of the pasta & sauce, then the rest of the cheese mixture.  Top part of the casserole with olives if not everybody likes them.  Sprinkle 1/4 cup parmesan over everything.

Oil (or spray) a piece of aluminum foil and cover.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.  Let stand for 5-10 minutes before cutting.


Vegetarian Version 6/10/17:

2 cups each Trader Joe’s Fusilli, DeCecco Cavatappi, Trader Joe’s organic Penne cooked separately until al dente+
28 oz. Cento tomato puree (Sprouts)
1/2 lb mushrooms
1/2 green pepper, 1/2 red pepper
1/2 onion
dried basil & oregano
1 teaspoon aged balsamic vinager
1 teaspoon sugar
salt & pepper

no cottage cheese, no Italian seasoning in the cheese

kalamatas on 1/3 but should have been 2/3 because everybody liked them except the kids

could have added a can of chopped tomatoes too

sausages on the side for carnivores

Published in: on November 9, 2013 at 6:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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