Sunday, December 28, 2008

Another Baked Pasta Recipe

In my previous post, I alluded to a recipe I made tonight that turned out quite nicely. I had a half pound of pasta sitting around, and I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it. I thought about a pasta bake, but I wanted something a bit heartier. This is what I came up with:

Baked Pasta with Ricotta
1/2 lb pasta (elbows or cavatappi)
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 package mushrooms (I used a 4 oz pkg of mixed fancy mushrooms) -- not canned
15 oz. can tomato sauce
1/2 of 15 oz. tub of ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozarella
basil (I used dried--if desired)
oregano (I used dried--if desired)
thyme (I used dried--if desired)
olive oil (for keeping noodles from sticking)
butter (for saute pan)

Preheat oven to 375 F. In large pot, cook pasta (remember to follow The Ten Commandments of Dry Pasta).
While pasta is cooking, saute mushrooms, onion, green pepper, and thinly sliced garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste, and some dried basil, thyme, and oregano if desired.
When pasta is cooked al dente, drain, then return to pot (off heat), drizzle a little olive oil into the pasta.
Add the tomato sauce and minced garlic to the noodles, stir so all noodles are coated.
Add the vegetable mixture to the noodles, stir so well combined.
Add the ricotta to the noodle and veggie mixture, stir so well combined.
(Note, at this point, you could eat this and have a great meal!)
Dump mixture into a 11"x7" pan and bake in preheated oven, covered, for 20-25 minutes.
Stir/redistribute pasta when it comes out, cover with shredded mozarella, and put back into oven for 10 minutes (until mozarella melts).
Serve. :) I've found that it's easier to cut if you let it cool a little bit.

Hope you enjoy! I know I did. ;)

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