Cavatini has a trio of pasta shapes with three kinds of meat mixed with veggies and cheese and baked until piping hot.
By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime
Cavatini is my recipe of the day for #BakingBloggers, who post once a month on a baking topic- and sometimes baked things aren’t cookies!
Everybody loves baked pasta as is evidenced by the topic of the month, which we vote on out of a pool of ideas. Not that the other ideas weren’t great, but after the holiday season I think everyone was ready for something different. And noodles.
An Old Pizza Hut Favorite
This is one of my fav retro recipes which hails back to Pizza Hut. I worked there one time for a couple of months as a waitress. Waitressing really wasn’t my best talent. I started there around Halloween and it was a nightmare that I hated. The only nice part was that every night we got to have whatever we liked to eat for break, which was for me, pizza (I liked thick and chewy pepperoni and mushroom!). But after a couple of weeks of pizza it becomes…*UGH!* and I then moved on to everything else.
They had the pasta in the little oval dishes- spaghetti and also cavatini- which I liked because it has pepperoni and also veggies in it.
So this basically was my diet every other day between pizzas until New Year’s Eve. I had been broke up with my boyfriend for a few months and during that time, the boss’s son asked me out to a Moody Blues concert and I said yes. But you know, it turned out I liked him better as a friend so we didn’t date any more than that. And a few weeks later I got back together with my ex and he asked me out for New Years which was nice (I had the day off)- so right as I am getting ready to head out the door, boss calls me to come in and take the shift of the person two hours after shift start time (person who was scheduled mysteriously called in sick) and I said I couldn’t because I had set plans and was just leaving to go out and so…she fired me.
And so ended my stint as a waitress. But still I liked the cavatini. We’d go every now and then to Pizza Huts and have that- until it sort of disappeared. Last time I saw it was at a Pizza Hut in Gainesville Florida and then after that, nothing.
It’s really not too hard to make. Just know the wagon wheels cook longer than the other pastas so start it first. Or just use whatever kind of pasta you like.
I served this when my kids dropped in. Gabe, who usually hates anything with mushrooms still enjoyed this. They also sampled some of the Ethiopian I had made (see the previous posts) and I made meatballs and caramelized balsamic onion jam for goat cheese and crackers.
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- 6 ounces uncooked rotini noodles
- 6 ounces uncooked medium shells
- 4 ounces uncooked rotelle (wagon wheel pasta)
- 1/2 large onion, chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
- 8 ounces chopped fresh mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 (39 ounce) can pasta sauce
- 1 cup water
- 1 (5 ounce) package sliced pepperoni
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 12 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil; add wagon wheel pasta and cook for six minutes, then add the other pasta (rotini and shells) to the cooking water and continue cooking all of them together for another 8-10 minutes or until cooked al dente, then drain.
- While the pasta cooks, preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Brown the meats and vegetables in a large skillet, seasoning with salt, pepper and herbs; drain off all fat.
- Stir together the cooked meat, pepperoni slices, pasta sauce, water, cooked pasta and the parmesan cheese; place mixture into a large rectangular baking casserole (lasagna pan).
- Cover pasta with shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the cheese is melted and nicely golden on top.
From the kitchen of palatablepastime.com