A girl (this girl) walks into a bar, orders a drink and says to the bartender, “what’s new?” So starts the story of this delicious recipe. Last week I stopped at one of my favorite happy hour spots where my old friend Eric was bar tending. Not only did he pour me a glass of my favorite white (La Playa) but he brought out three jars of his dads homemade marinara sauce, called Doug’s Prairie Kitchen. I’m convinced that home grown fresh ingredients are best, so I was quick to snatch up all three jars (sweet pepper, basil and garlic varieties).

Today, I had the day off after a long busy weekend, and decided to do a little comfort food cooking. This recipe came together really well, and the fresh sauce added great flavor. Doug doesn’t have a website yet, but you can get his sauce for $6 a jar at the New Berlin farmers market on Saturdays and the Greenfield farmers market on Sundays – or if you’re lucky, you can pick up a jar at happy hour, like I did!

1 bag corn pasta (I used this because it was gluten free and it was on sale – use whatever pasta you like best)
1 block 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1 lb. ground beef
1 med. white onion
1 head of broccoli, florets cut off
Pinch of salt and pepper
1 tsp. oregano
2 small jars Doug’s Prairie Kitchen marinara sauce
1 c. Gluten free bread crumbs
1/4 c. Shredded Parmesan
1 egg white

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9″x13″ glass baking dish.

Cook pasta to al dente consistency, per package instructions. As pasta boils, brown ground beef in a large pan with salt, pepper and oregano. Add chopped onion and broccoli, until softened. Add marinara sauce and simmer.

Once pasta is done, strain and return to pot. Add cream cheese and milk, stir until cheese is melted and coats pasta.

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Pour pasta into bottom of baking dish. Top with broccoli marinara mixture.

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In a medium bowl, mix bread crumbs, Parmesan and egg whites with a fork. Sprinkle mixture over top of baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes, or until top is browned.

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