Ground Beef Skillet Pasta with Pesto and Ricotta
Dinner comes together in a flash with this recipe for kid-pleasing, one-pot ground beef pasta skillet topped with pesto and ricotta.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 28 minutes
Total Time 33 minutes
Servings 4 servings
- 1 lb ground beef, or meatloaf mix
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 28 oz whole tomatoes, pureed
- 8 oz tomato sauce
- 8 oz water
- 10 oz short pasta, such as trivelli, fusilli, penne, shells, etc.
- 4 oz (1/2 cup) pesto
- 8 oz ricotta cheese, whole milk or part skim
- 2 oz parmesan cheese, shredded
Add the ground beef, onion, and salt to a large, nonstick skillet. Bring to medium heat and saute for 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft and the ground beef has mostly lost its pink color. Add the garlic and saute for 2 more minutes.
Mix together the pureed whole tomatoes, tomato sauce, and water. Spread the pasta out in the skillet and then pour the tomato mixture over the pasta, making sure to push down the pieces so that all the pasta is submerged. Bring to a boil, then cover the skillet and simmer on low for 20 minutes. Stir the pasta once or twice while it's simmering.
Taste the pasta to make sure it's cooked through (if not, cover and simmer for 2-3 minutes more), then stir in 2 tablespoons of the pesto and dollop spoonfuls of the ricotta over the top. Cover the skillet and take it off the heat to let it rest for a couple of minutes.
Serve the pasta with extra pesto and parmesan cheese.
- If you don't have a nonstick skillet, you will need to stir the pasta frequently to keep it from burning. I've found that you can leave it for the first 10 minutes, and then for the next 10 minutes stir it every 2-3 minutes.
- Thinly sliced fresh basil makes a nice addition to the recipe.
- I puree the whole tomatoes since I am feeding people who are not fans of chunky tomato sauces. Feel free to chop or lightly pulse the tomatoes instead.
- Any fresh (refrigerated) pesto sauce in the supermarket will work. I've tried a number of brands, and they are all good. I wouldn't suggest using the shelf stable, canned pesto sauces, though. They will have a very different flavor.