This layered ground beef casserole came about because I had bits and pieces of vegetables in the crisper and an opened tin of tomato paste. As you know most recipes call for a tablespoon of tomato paste and then you're stuck with a part tin which you eventually just throw out. So that's the simple story behind this new dish.
It's very satisfying and rich. You could serve it with a small simple salad on the side. But I had it on its own and I was very full.
It's a nice blend of flavors and the ricotta layer not only tastes great but it makes the dish look really special. I love the mouth feel of it and how the flavors linger. The recipe is simple but the end result feels a bit more complex. So go ahead and serve it to your guests!
It pairs very well with a nice Italian wine like a barolo or a chianti. Cheers!
Also makes great leftovers and freezes well.
Makes 4 servings
6.85g Net Carbs
(63% Fat, 31.6% Protein, 5.4% Carbs)
4 strips bacon, finely chopped and fried crispy tender (keep bacon grease)
500g (1 lb) ground beef
1 tbsp finely minced garlic
3 tbsp finely chopped shallot or onion
3 tbsp finely chopped celery
1/2 tsp Italian seasonings
3 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp salt and pepper each
1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3/4 cup full fat ricotta cheese
85g (3 oz) mozzarella
2 tbsp sliced green olives
Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
In a large bowl, prepare the meat mixture by thoroughly combining the garlic, shallots, celery, Italian seasonings, tomato paste, egg, salt, pepper, pepper flakes and parsley.
Use a paper towel soaked in the reserved bacon fat to grease an 8" x 6 " casserole dish.
Place half the meat mixture into the dish, patting it down evenly. Top with 1/2 the ricotta, 1/2 the bacon and 1/2 the mozzarella.
Place the rest of the meat on top, spooning it evenly all over and patting down evenly. Top with the remaining cheeses and bacon. Sprinkle with the sliced olives.
Bake uncovered for 45 minutes or until temperature reaches 160°F.
Let sit for about 5-10 minutes before cutting into 4 portions.
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