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Cavatini Pasta

This cavatini recipe has been in my family as long as I can remember, and it is still a favorite. I love to make it when we have company; it's always a hit —Russ Palmer, Saranac, Michigan
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. + simmering Bake: 35 min.
  • Makes
    14 servings


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 can (12 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 can (4 ounces) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
  • 1 package (3-1/2 ounces) sliced pepperoni
  • 2 envelopes spaghetti sauce mix
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • PASTA:
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 cup each uncooked elbow macaroni, bow tie pasta and medium pasta shells
  • 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese


  • In a Dutch oven, cook the beef, onions and pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the water, tomato paste, mushrooms, pepperoni, sauce mix and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, for pasta, bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add macaroni and pastas. Return to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cook, uncovered, for 10-12 minutes or until tender; drain. Stir into tomato sauce. Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish (dish will be full).
  • Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 377 calories, 18g fat (8g saturated fat), 75mg cholesterol, 903mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 3g fiber), 27g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • amygerman15
    Dec 7, 2013

    Kids and hubby didn't like it.

  • damatriarch06
    Sep 6, 2010

    This went fast at our table. It makes a lot so is great for when we have guests. It is easy to make. I subbed a can of crushed tomatoes and some real tomatoes from my garden to cut the amount of salt (hopefully!) and subbed Italian sausage for the pepperoni. Also, make sure you use the tastiest ground beef that you can find; I've made this twice already and it does make a big difference in the final product you turn out. Bon appetit!

  • maggieaw
    Jan 7, 2010

    Yes this was a hit- I used ready made spaghetti sauce instead or paste-water and envelope of seasoning. The pepperoni sure added that YUM to the dish! No leftovers, so good comfort food and great for a hungry family.

  • webmom3
    Dec 11, 2009

    Easy to make and my very picky kids LOVED it and asked for more!

  • PvW
    Oct 7, 2009

    Man was going to try this recipe but take a look at the sodium for just a one cup serving. Can anyone give me a suitable substitute for the packaged seasonings.

  • troupe48
    Oct 6, 2009

    Fairly simple to make. The pepperoni gives it a refreshing zest with the pasta! Chees melts down through the casserole! Makes a large amount!

  • Shenandoah
    Oct 5, 2009

    This became a family favorite years ago. Since pasta now comes in a single package of different shapes, I use that now and if I'm in a hurry I use a favorite commercial spaghetti/pasta sauce.

  • rjay013
    Jun 22, 2009

    This is very good