I’m such a Texas girl! I am a WIMP when it comes to cold weather. Y’all know by now that cold weather, does however, urge me to hit the kitchen. So last night I invited some friends over for dinner. When I suggested that I was going to make a big pot of warm and filling spaghetti with tomato meat sauce, it was met with a less than enthusiastic face from one of my friends. Something about the spaghetti noodles not holding onto enough sauce to make it taste good…? Anyway… I decided to come up with a compromise. I made a creamy pasta sauce with ground beef and sweet Italian sausage. I stirred in some goat cheese for richness and ricotta for creaminess. (think some sort of blend between a 4 cheese alfredo and a tomato meat sauce) I used penne pasta (it “holds” onto more sauce than spaghetti- LOL) and baked it lightly under a layer of shredded mozzarella. I served it with a pepperoni pizza salad and garlic bread made from an Olive Branch baguette. (We sell those in the store for only $1.50, by the way) It hit the spot! It was creamy and full of lots of spices and flavors. It was filling and perfect on a chilly night. Hope you like this one!
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound ground Italian sausage
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 12 leaves fresh basil (I chopped mine, but you could leave the leaves whole)
- 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
- 4 oz goat cheese
- 1 container ricotta (15 oz)
- 2 Cups heavy cream
- 12 oz shredded mozzarella
- 1 pound penne pasta boiled al dente
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large dutch oven, brown together the meats with the minced garlic until it is crumbled and cooked all the way through. Drain.
- Add the basil and the crushed tomatoes. Once it gets hot, taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to your taste.
- Add the heavy cream and stir in the goat cheese and the ricotta cheese until they are melted and well incorporated.
- Once the pasta sauce is hot and well mixed, turn the heat off and add the cooked pasta and stir it all together until the pasta is well covered.
- Add ½ of the shredded mozzarella and stir again.
- Pour the pasta into a 13×9 baking dish (I use a glass dish) top the pasta with the rest of the mozzarella and pop the whole thing into a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes.