Pasta dishes have to be some of the most versatile and easy when it comes to making simple dinners. Whenever coming up with a unique dinner recipe is too tricky or difficult, boiling some pasta and mixing it with some sauce and some veggies is often an easy solution. Still, sometimes you want to have a pasta recipe ready that you know will tick off all the boxes and be delicious—a recipe you don’t make all the time.
Fortunately, we have one of those recipes for you today. As an added bonus, you even get to use your slow cooker to put everything together. That’s right, today we’re making a slow cooker beef and cheese pasta that is sure to become one of the steady recipes in your rotation. With very little effort, this hearty dish is perfect for anyone who wants an Italian-inspired and carb-heavy meal that is sure to stick to your ribs. Without any further ado, let’s get into it.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 pounds of lean ground beef
- 1 diced yellow onion
- 3 minced cloves of garlic
- 15 ounces of marinara sauce
- 15 ounces of stewed tomatoes (canned)
- 1 teaspoon of basil
- 1 teaspoon of oregano
- 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (to taste)
- 2 tablespoons of dry red wine (optional)
- 2 beef bouillon cubes
- 10 ounces of frozen spinach
- 1 pound of rigatoni (cooked al dente)
- 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
Here’s what you do:
1. To start, put a skillet over medium-high heat and throw your beef in to brown it and cook it through. Once it’s cooked, take the meat out and drain the fat before cooking your onions and garlic in the pan as well until they soften but before they get too much color. During this stage, you can also boil your rigatoni until it’s al dente. Drain it and set it aside as well.
2. When the onions and beef are done, drop them in your slow cooker along with your marinara sauce, tomatoes, herbs, red pepper flakes and crumbled bouillon cubes. If you’re using dry red wine, add that at this stage as well.
3. With all your ingredients in the pot, mix it together well until it’s evenly combined. Season it generously with salt and pepper as well before covering the pot up and cooking it on low for six to eight hours.
4. After everything has cooked, dump in your cooked pasta and cheese along with your frozen spinach. Stir everything together once again and cover the slow cooker again, cooking it for an addition 30 minutes on high heat. If you’re using fresh spinach, stir them through the hot mixture before serving and add additional salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
As you can see, this recipe is simple enough to make and results in a delicious savory pasta with beef and cheese. With the added tomatoes, marinara sauce and spinach, this is a dinner that truly crosses off all the boxes. As always, you can use this recipe as a guideline and experiment with the ingredients as you see fit. Above all, have fun making this recipe and let us know how it goes!
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Source: Cooktop Cove