This is a recipe that my Mom has been making for as long as I can remember. Growing up in our house this meal was simply known as "Pasta". We'd come home from school and throw our bags and our coats on the floor and yell out, "Mom. What's for dinner?", and when my Mom replied, "pasta" we knew that this was what she meant. It could never mean something else. Macaroni and Cheese was one thing, Spaghetti was another, but pasta was always THIS.
I still remember the first time, years ago, that I made this for Mario. I told him, "Honey, you are going to LOVE this meal!". He replies, "Great, what is it?"...."Pasta!" He kept looking at me, eyebrows raised with expectation.... finally he asks, "so...what's in it?"
Duh! Pasta! Geesh, it's really a fortunate thing for Mario that he found me, I brought a little sophistication into his life (he grew up on a farm, you know).
Oh, and last night at dinner, 4 year old Marco declares: "Mommy, this is the best Pasta in the whole wide world"... See? he gets it.
1 lb lean ground beef
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 tsp oregano
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
1 5.5oz can tomato paste
2 cups water
2 cups small pasta shells
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 cups mozarella cheese, grated
1. In a large pot, brown beef and drain fat. Stir in onion soup mix.
2. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, and water. Bring to boil. Stir in pasta and let simmer, covered for 20 minutes.
3. Stir in Parmesan cheese and pour everything into a 9"x13" dish.
4. Top with Mozarella and bake at 350F for 30 minutes. Let stand 5-10 minutes before cutting.