Creamy, meaty, and loaded with five types of veggies, this four cheese beef and spinach pasta bake is a home-cooked meal with restaurant-quality flavor. A hearty dinner and potluck ace-in-the-hole, this baked Dutch oven casserole customizes easily to whatever veggies and meat you have on hand.
Before I went gluten free in 2010, I ate pasta almost every other day. Spaghetti, rigatoni, ziti, penne, angel hair – you name it, I ate it, and I loved it. After going GF, I gradually slowed down on my pasta consumption even though the quality of gluten free pastas got better and better. It wasn’t the GF pasta’s fault. Nope.
It just seems that the longer that I am gluten free, the more I become sensitive to other grain and grain products. (And the more gluten intolerant I become, too.) I don’t have the same reaction to other grains that I do to gluten, but if I eat them regularly I have an array of unpleasant reactions that can last for days afterwards, and sometimes much, much longer.
Anyone else out there know what I mean?
Nowadays, I eat gluten free pasta dishes as special, once-a-month treats.
This delicious four cheese, beef, and spinach pasta bake is this month’s indulgence. All the good stuff in it satisfies my craving without making me feel guilty about enjoying the all-out comfort food. Win win and yum yum…
- 8 ounces gluten free pasta (I used elbow macaroni)
- 1½ pounds ground beef
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 15-ounce cans of gluten free tomato sauce
- ½ cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 4 ounces crumbled Parmesan cheese
- 4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
- 4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup milk or half-n-half
- 2 cups baby spinach, rinsed and drained
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Fill a large stock pot with salted water. Heat to boiling. Cook gluten free pasta for about half of the recommended cooking time. Drain, and set aside.
- Brown ground beef, celery, onions, and bell pepper in a cast iron Dutch oven, adding the minced garlic during the last few minutes of browning. Drain, and set mixture aside.
- In same pot, stir both cans of tomato sauce, mushrooms, and dried basil and parsley until well-combined.
- Cook for about 10 minutes over medium heat, or until sauce darkens. Season to taste with SP&C.
- Add cheeses and milk to pot. Stir until melted.
- Add spinach to pot. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until spinach wilts.
- Remove from heat. Stir pasta into the mixture.
- Bake in Dutch oven for 30 minutes, or until the pasta is tender.
- Remove cover, and brown top for an additional 5 to 8 minutes, optional.