ITALIAN 3 CHEESE PASTA BAKE

Italian-Cheesy-Pasta-Shells3 cups of Pasta Shells boiled in salted garlic water for about 15 min, drain well and rinse with cold water (gets rid of the excess starch) pasta will be firm not over done.

Brown one pound of low fat hamburger or ground turkey with onions and garlic (as much as you like). (you would just need to add a little more olive oil with the turkey). Set to the side.

Tomato Sauce:
Add one medium can of tomato paste with 3/4 cup of water (paste has much more tomatoy flavor and the lycopene is higher too!!)

Lycopene is not an essential nutrient for humans, but is commonly found in the diet, mainly from dishes prepared from tomatoes. When absorbed from the stomach, lycopene is transported in the blood by various lipoproteins and accumulates in the liver, adrenal glands, and testes.

Because preliminary research has shown an inverse correlation between consumption of tomatoes and cancer risk, lycopene has been considered a potential agent for prevention of some types of cancers, particularly prostate cancer.[2] WIKIPEDIA SORRY I DIGRESS!!!!

Add 1/2 cup of our italian herb blend or your own: Basil, Thyme, Garlic, Onion, oregano and summer savory. NO SALT, pepper to taste. I also use smoked paprika for a slight smokey flavor about 1 teaspoon.

Add 1/4 cup of Tuscan or Garlic Olive Oil and a splash of any sweet balsamic to substitute for the sugar added to italian sauce dishes which brings out the flavors.

Simmer all together, meat and sauce for about 30 min. let cool down to handle. In a corning wear dish spread some EVOO on the dish, layer in your pasta, then sauce, then your cheeses. I used parmesan reggiano, smoked mozzarella, asiago and ricotta. Layer all one more time with cheese on top.

Place in oven on 375 for about 15 min for cheese to melt and toast up a bit. LIKE MOST ITALIAN DISHES, THE HERBS AND FLAVORS ARE MUCH BETTER THE NEXT DAY.

PREP TIME 20 min. Total time 45 min. unless you simmer your sauce for 2-4 hrs.