Sunday, August 12, 2012

Beefy Macaroni-Stuffed Tomatoes

Beefy Macaroni-Stuffed Tomatoes  


Hi everybody :)

I love the idea of edible containers. Today's recipe is about good ol' comfort food: beefy macaroni stuffed in tomatoes, sounds delicious... MMMmmmmm, doesn't it? :) It's a new twist on the old Classic Mac & Cheese. This recipe comes from one of my cookbooks; I'm still working on that mission of cooking at least one recipe from each book :)


Beefy Macaroni-Stuffed Tomatoes From: CREATIVE COOKS' KITCHEN COOKBOOK

You Will Need
FOR THE TOMATOES
6  Large tomatoes (I only did two)

FOR THE FILLING
12 ounces elbow macaroni
1 pound  lean ground beef
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 cup part skim ricotta cheese (I omitted this)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (I omitted this)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
I added 1 can diced tomatoes

FOR THE SAUCE
2 15oz cans tomato sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

FOR THE TOPPING
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

SERVES 6















PREPARING TOMATOES
To hollow out tomatoes, slice off the stem end of each tomato. Using a spoon scoop out the seed and core.

Preheat oven to 375'F. Cook elbow macaroni according to package directions, but do not add salt. Drain in a colander. While pasta is cooking, prepare beef. In a large non-stick skillet, cook beef over medium heat, stirring, until browned, about 5 minutes. Drain beef in a colander. In a large bowl, combine pasta, beef, mozzarella, ricotta and parsley. Mix well.

















MAKING THE SAUCE
In a small bowl, combine tomato sauce, oregano, basil, garlic powder, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Mix well. Add tomato sauce to pasta mixture. Mix well.

FILLING AND BAKING TOMATOES

Spoon pasta mixture evenly into each tomato. Top with Parmesan cheese. Place tomatoes into a casserole dish. Cover with foil. Bake until heated through, 30-35 minutes. Serve immediately.

A great kitchen tip is to use a grapefruit spoon or dinner teaspoon to scoop out the seed and core the tomato while keeping the skin intact. For a lighter version, to all you dieters out there :), ground turkey can be used in the place of  the ground beef. If your tomatoes are not standing level, slice a thin layer off of the bottoms before stuffing and baking. You can also fancy this up by cutting a saw-tooth edge around the edge of each tomato opening.
Do Ahead
The macaroni filling can be prepared in advance and stored for up to 1 day in the refrigerator. When you're ready to make them, spoon the filling into the hollowed tomatoes, top with Parmesan and bake as directed.

To complete your meal, serve this dish with hot and crusty garlic herb or Italian-flavored bread sticks.

Variations:
Stuffed Peppers: Instead of tomatoes use bell peppers, just prepare as directed and sub out tomatoes for peppers.
Home-Style Favorite:  Spoon the macaroni filling into a casserole dish and bake as directed.















What I Think:
This turned out to be quite delicious, despite the fact that the tomatoes didn't hold up their shape when the time to lift them. Maybe I overly-stuffed them a little... hey what can I say, I love mac & cheese :)  I only did 2 large tomatoes and put the rest of the filling in a pan to finish it.

On a sad note :( ... my daughter is going back to law school tomorrow...

Alas... I'm eating this sundae to cheer myself up.


Brownie - recipe  here
Ice Cream - vanilla (store-brought)
Cool Whip
Strawberry
Butterscotch topping













From: CREATIVE COOKS' KITCHEN COOKBOOK

ENJOY! Come again....

Linking to:
Beef Blog Hop @ Katherine Martinelli 

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