Cheesy Bechamel-Filled Pasta Bake

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Cheesy bechamel filled pasta bake with tomatoes and beef
Happy Thursday everyone! Our travels came to an end last night, more like this morning. Any guesses as to what time?
3. AM.
Glad to be home, though. We had a great time and even got to stop in to see a friend for a quick dinner since we were passing right through his town. Adding fun to a work trip is always welcome!
Today’s recipe makes a perfect comfort food dinner for days like today when you need a pick-me-up. Definitely not low on carbs but the flavors in it are completely worth it. I’ve always been a huge fan of béchamel and white sauces and generally prefer them to red sauces. In this recipe, both types of sauces are used, making for the best combination.
What’s better than carbs, cheese, and a buttery cream sauce?
Nothing. Except maybe some sleep.

Cheesy bechamel filled pasta bake with tomatoes and beef

tomato/beef mixture: once most of the liquid is absorbed

Cheesy bechamel filled pasta bake with tomatoes and beef
Cheesy bechamel filled pasta bake with tomatoes and beef
Cheesy bechamel filled pasta bake with tomatoes and beef
Cheesy bechamel filled pasta bake with tomatoes and beef
Cheesy bechamel filled pasta bake with tomatoes and beef
Cheesy bechamel filled pasta bake with tomatoes and beef
Cheesy bechamel filled pasta bake with tomatoes and beef
Cheesy bechamel filled pasta bake with tomatoes and beef

Cheesy bechamel filled pasta bake with tomatoes and beef

CHEESY BECHAMEL PASTA BAKE
INGREDIENTS
16 oz penne pasta
Tomato/beef sauce (below)
Bechamel sauce (below)
1 c shredded cheese (swiss or mozzarella)

TOMATO/BEEF SAUCE
1 onion, chopped
2T olive oil
1/2 c cabbage, finely shredded (or processed in a food processor)
3 garlic cloves, minced

1 pound beef
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp marjoram
1/4 tsp coriander
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

1/4 c red wine
28 oz chopped tomatoes
1 c milk

DIRECTIONS
Saute onions in olive oil for  8 minutes on medium heat, until onions are softened. Add cabbage an sauté for 10 minutes, adding 1 T of olive oil if necessary. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute and then add beef and seasoning. Cook on medium/medium-high until beef is cooked. Once beef is finished cooking, add wine. Once wine evaporates, add tomatoes and simmer at least 30 minutes* or until juices have been thoroughly absorbed and there is only a slight amount of liquid left. Add milk and cook for another 15 minutes.

*I simmered mine on med-high but watched it carefully to make sure it didn’t burn.

BECHAMEL SAUCE
7 T butter
7 T flour
3 1/2 – 4 c milk
1/2 tsp salt

Melt butter in a small saucepan on medium heat. Add flour and mix together well until a pasta is formed. Slowly add each cup of milk, stirring well in between each addition. Add in salt and cook on medium until sauce begins to thicken. Once sauce thickens, remove from heat.

Layer pasta, tomato/beef sauce, béchamel sauce in a baking dish, starting out with the tomato sauce on the bottom. Top with cheese.

Broil on high until cheese melts, about 1 minute.

Cheesy bechamel filled pasta bake with tomatoes and beef

 

Grace

A travel photographer and writer with an insatiable desire to explore the world and inspire others to see it for themselves.