Place onions in a food processor; pulse until finely chopped. Add carrots; pulse until finely chopped.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Heat a large high-sided sauté pan over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion mixture; cook 4 minutes. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes. Add Italian seasoning, red pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add beef; cook 5 minutes. Stir in stock, 4 tablespoons basil, tomato paste, vinegar, pasta, and tomatoes. Bring mixture to a boil; cook 13 minutes or until pasta is almost done, stirring frequently. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Arrange mozzarella over pasta mixture. Sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano; bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until pasta is done. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons basil.
Family really enjoyed this recipe......I did make a number of minor substitutions though....didn't use low/no salt items, used dried basil instead of fresh (1/3 of what was called for), tomato sauce in place of the strained tomatoes (they were ridiculously expensive). Liked the processing of the carrot and onion - allowed me to "hide" veggies (always good). Found that the finished product still lacked a little salt, and the serving size was at least 2 cups per person which was more than most of us could eat! Will definitely make again.
How can you give this 5 stars when you changed some of the important items. Big difference between fresh and dried basil. And tomato sauce and strained tomatoes. I wish people would rate the ORIGINAL recipe and not their version.
Minor changes. Used 28oz can of petite diced tomatoes, doubled the garlic, and used 1/4 lb more beef That's it. Not sure why everyone added more salt. I simply seasoned the onion garlic mixture before adding the beef.
I added a few things based off of Diane's review. I added more salt, crushed red pepper, dried basil (along with the recommended fresh basil) - It was still lacking. It definitely made a whole lot. Waaaaaay too much for just me and one other. It didn't taste bad, it just wasn't great.
This was just a really good, hearty meal that the whole family enjoyed. I used a 28 oz can of petite diced tomatoes instead of the strained and added just a bit more garlic. Will definitely make again.
I am always surprised when someone makes changes, in some cases - significant changes, and then complains the outcome was OK, not great. Really? Why is that a surprise to you? You didn't make the recipe -- you made your version of it. That's ok, but I would suggest that the first time you make the recipe as directed - then the next time, tweak it to your personal preference. That is the only way to know what you want changed. This is an Italian based (seasoned) recipe. Some added a Mexican flare to it with Red Pepper and wondered why it didn't work combining the two distinctly different flavors and seasoning ??? No duh. Chicken broth is a always a good additive (especially instead of just water) It does normally does not take away from other seasoning flavors. While you might think, doesn't get it give you a 'chicken flavor' - the answer is no. When more liquid is needed -- chicken broth give you "more" than water which will do nothing but" water down a recipe." Chicken broth doesn't change the underling taste. Beef broth might make this more beefy tasting and but then mask the Italian Seasonings - causing you to add more seasoning to achieve the Italian taste. You might be surprised, tomatoes are acidity. To cut that acid taste, instead of adding more salt, try just a touch of sugar. It cuts the acid bite and adds just a very slight sweet taste which compliments the other ingredients. I use brown sugar in my Spaghetti sauce to create a deep rich flavor and I am always asked - what did you do to this sauce - Its great? Brown sugar it the secret ingredient.
My kids loved this and I loved sneaking in some vegetables. My grocery store didn't have the carton of tomatoes so I just used a large can of tomatoes and cut them. I also used the whole box of pasta. My kids are all taking the leftovers for lunch today. Will definitely make again!
Agree with the first reviewer. This was really good! Get out your big pot...this makes a lot. We used 8oz of beef crumble substitute in place of the sirloin to make this vegetarian. And since we used low-sodium veggie broth instead of unsalted, I reduced the salt to 1/4 tsp.
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