Sunday, August 10, 2014

Recipe Inspiration: Penne Pasta Bake


 I'm always looking for new recipes to try, and when I find one that's simple and easy on the pocketbook that's even better. When I first started blogging in 2008, I somehow came across the blog, Reluctant Entertainer, authored by Sandy. I have followed her ever since and have seen her blog grow into a huge success...I find myself always wanting to hide in her suitcase as she travels all over the states and the world. I had the honor of meeting her several years ago when she was in Portland for her daughter's soccer game.

A few days ago she shared a recipe for a "Caprese" Pasta Bake , as she called it, that looked so amazing, I just had to try it myself. I did and I wasn't disappointed. With only a few simple ingredients, this didn't take long to throw together which is great for our busy lives right now. The combination of fresh tomatoes and warm pasta with gooey cheese was perfect.



 Ingredients:

1 box Penne Pasta (I used Fred Meyer's brand Simple Truth Organic..1.59 a box)...I couldn't find the brand she used where I was shopping
2 Jars Tomato and Basil pasta sauce (or whatever you decide)...I recommend 2 jars because mine got too dry at some point
Sliced Heirloom Tomatoes
Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, sliced (I scored at Grocery Outlet)
Fresh basil 
Optional: rotisserie chicken or in my case I used Sun-dried Tomato and provolone Chicken Sausage. 

Directions:

1. Cook Pasta according to direction, but make sure it's Al Dente (just undercooked)

2. Drain and add pasta sauce and meat if you are using it and heat through. I cooked my chicken sausages according to package instructions,  and sliced before adding to the pasta. I actually layered mine on top of the pasta.

3.  Spread pasta in a 9 x 13 pan. Top with sliced tomatoes, mozzarella cheese slices and sprinkle with basil.

5. Place under broiler for 5-7 minutes until cheese is melted and slightly browned. 

It is best if served immediately while the cheese is nice and gooey. 

I accompanied this with a loaf of my Artisan Bread. Such a yummy, quick, comforting meal!  It is perfect for company. 



With Joy UNquenchable,

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