I know it’s seems weird to cook all these baked pasta dishes in the summer, but they are so easy to make ahead. As I’ve said before, I do my best cooking in the morning when John is home and Camden is napping. Then I can send John off with it for his dinner break at work and reheat later for us to eat at home. Win – Win!
I also have a funny story to tell. While in the middle of making this and taking pictures, I realized my camera battery was about to die. I decided to be quick and plug in the charger over the stove so I could get some juice, and then pop it out to take some more pics. When I hurriedly reached to take the battery out, it fell behind the stove. I didn’t want to move the stove because of the gas lines. Long story short (too late), I had to wait for John to get home to move the cutting board table. Most of the pictures that I take are on a butcher block that is about 3 inches thick. It weighs a ton! Anyway, this meal was cooked the next day. Luckily, nothing was cooking yet, or I wouldn’t have pictures!
I started with a jar of tomato puree, but you could use tomato sauce of any kind. I heated it and added salt, pepper, oregano and a pinch of sugar to cut the acid.
While the sauce was heating, I boiled half a pound of pasta. You could use any tube shape. I happened to have rotini, but my favorite is penne.
While waiting for the pasta and sauce to cook, I sliced some mozzarella cheese.
After the pasta was cooked, I drained the water.
When the sauce was heated through, I stirred in about 16 ounces of ricotta cheese. My sister gave me this tip for making the baked pasta like they do in Italian restaurants. Changed my life!
Then I mixed the pasta and sauce together in a 9 x 9 baking pan.
I topped it with mozzarella cheese.
I placed it in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.
It came out soooo cheesy!
- ½ pound tube shaped pasta
- 29 oz can of tomato sauce or puree
- 16 oz ricotta cheese
- ¼ teaspoon oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- pinch of sugar
- mozzarella cheese for topping (about 8 oz)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Boil water in a pot with salt. Add pasta when boiling and cook to until al dente and drain.
- Heat tomato sauce in a pot and add salt, pepper, oregano and sugar until desired taste is achieved.
- When sauce is done, stir in ricotta cheese.
- Stir pasta and sauce together and add to 9 x 9 baking dish.
- Top with mozzarella cheese and bake for 30 minutes or until cheese starts to brown.
- After removing from oven, wait 10 minutes to cool before serving.