My husband and I agree on a lot of things. Garlic is not one of them. He’s ok with a little garlic in things; I can’t get enough of the stuff. When I was visiting Estonia, I went out of my way to eat at a restaurant that had garlic in everything. The food was incredible, and I still regret that I didn’t try the garlic ice cream.
So, when I make pasta dishes, I usually use a fair amount of garlic. In this Smashed Garlic Baked Pasta, though, I used a lot. And it was awesome! The garlic cooks down (just make sure that you really smash the garlic cloves), so it’s not overpowering. It’s just good, old-fashioned comfort food, and if you like garlic, this is definitely a must make!
- 1 lb . ground beef
- 1 ½ c . finely chopped onion
- 1 c . peeled (, chopped carrot)
- 1 c . chopped celery
- 10 garlic cloves (, smashed)
- 1 (15 oz.) can crushed tomatoes in puree
- 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
- 1/4 c . tomato paste ((about 3 oz.))
- 2 c . beef broth or stock
- 1 T . dried basil
- 1 tsp . granulated sugar
- Pinch baking soda
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 lb . penne pasta (, cooked)
- 1 ½ c . shredded Italian cheese blend
- 1/2 c . grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a deep 9x13-inch baking dish. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, brown ground beef.
- Drain ground beef, and return it to the pan.
- Add onion, carrot, and celery.
- Cook for 5 minutes, or until veggies are soft.
- Add garlic, and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
- Add tomatoes, tomato paste, broth, basil, sugar, baking soda, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Simmer, stirring as needed.
- In a large pot, cook pasta according to package directions.
- Drain pasta.
- Pour drained pasta into prepared baking dish.
- Top with tomato sauce.
- Sprinkle with Italian and Parmesan cheeses.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.