Cheesy Baked Pasta

Cheesy Baked Pasta

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.

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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.

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While waiting for the pasta and sauce to cook, I sliced some mozzarella cheese.

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After the pasta was cooked, I drained the water.

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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!

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Then I mixed the pasta and sauce together in a 9 x 9 baking pan.

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I topped it with mozzarella cheese.

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I placed it in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

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It came out soooo cheesy!

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Yum!

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Cheesy Baked Pasta
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Italian/Vegetarian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
Ingredients
  • 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)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Boil water in a pot with salt. Add pasta when boiling and cook to until al dente and drain.
  3. Heat tomato sauce in a pot and add salt, pepper, oregano and sugar until desired taste is achieved.
  4. When sauce is done, stir in ricotta cheese.
  5. Stir pasta and sauce together and add to 9 x 9 baking dish.
  6. Top with mozzarella cheese and bake for 30 minutes or until cheese starts to brown.
  7. After removing from oven, wait 10 minutes to cool before serving.

 

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Enjoy!

JulieBird

Comments

  1. Julie, this looks so good and what a great recipe — so easy. Your dad has been wanting spaghetti and I am making a fresh loaf of bread today. After seeing these mouth watering pictures, we must have your cheesy baked pasta casserole with a salad and fresh bread tonight! ~thank you for the recipe!!!

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