August 28, 2010
In celebration of Hubby's birthday this week, he requested pasta and a Jello poke cake for our family dinner. This pasta dish has been a staple around here since the Youngest Daughter was on the swim team and we'd hold carb parties at our house. That's a lot of kids chowing down, getting ready to compete.
14.5 oz box of multi-grain or whole wheat rotini
1/2 pound of sweet or mild Italian sausage
1 pound of ground beef
14 oz. canned, sliced mushrooms (drained)
26 oz. jar of your preferred spaghetti sauce
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
In a large pot or dutch kettle, boil the pasta in salted water.
In a large skillet, brown the sausage and ground beef, drain the grease, then add mushrooms and spaghetti sauce.
After draining the water from the pasta, mix the meat mixture into it, then add cheese and stir.
At this point, you're ready to serve, although if you like baked pasta, you can put it all into a 9x13" cake pan, put more mozzarella on top and bake it at 350 until the cheese is melted. This is also good for a make-ahead meal and you just reheat the pan of pasta in the oven.
We've hit the point of Summer in Phoenix, when the heat is starting to feel like it will never end. This is a great time for a refreshing, cold Jello poke cake. Our favorite flavors are white cake with strawberry Jello or lemon cake with orange Jello, both topped with Cool Whip. However, our Oldest Daughter told me about this chocolate-raspberry combination recently and it is sooooo good!
Chocolate Raspberry Poke Cake
Devil's Food Cake Mix (I use Duncan Hines)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1-1/3 cups water
3 oz. package raspberry Jello
1 cup boiling water
1 cup cold water
1.4 oz. package chocolate pudding mix
2 cups milk (we used skim milk and sugar free fat free pudding mix)
Prepare cake mix per box directions and bake in a 9x13" greased-floured cake pan.
After it cools, poke holes all the way to the bottom of the pan across entire top of cake. I have a hair pick that I bought in the 70s to use exclusively for this purpose. It's faster than doing one hole at a time with a skewer, although that would work.
Prepare Jello according to package directions with boiling and cold water. Then pour slowly over the top of the cake to soak it.
Put the cake in the refrigerator for at least an hour to chill and let the Jello set up. Prepare the chocolate pudding mix and put it in the refrigerator to set up as well.
Once everything is chilled, ice the top of the cake with the pudding. Keep refrigerated.
It is moist, refreshing and so delicious!