Thursday, April 07, 2011

Spicy Baked Penne Pasta

It looks and tastes like lasagna only it's cheaper and easier to make!

Here is the recipe:

1 lb of penne pasta cooked according to directions
2 Tbls Butter (or margarine)
1 Tbls olive oil
1/2 med. onion diced
1/2 green bell pepper diced
3-4 cloved minced garlic
1 jar of marinara sauce of your choice. (I used Trader Joe's cheapest sauce)
1 14 oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 8oz can of El Pato spicy tomato sauce (sub. regular tomato sauce)
1/2 cup of white wine (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 15oz ricotta cheese (I used WalMart's True Value brand on all cheeses)
3 cups Mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (sub. 1 Tbls of dried basil)
1 cup chopped fresh spinach (sub. 1 pkg. frozen spinach thawed, drained & chopped)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Cook penne pasta according to package directions. Drain & toss with butter
Place pasta in a 9x13 baking pan
Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan
Saute' onion, pepper and garlic until tender
Add marinara sauce, fire roasted tomatoes, El Pato (or tomato) sauce and white wine
Bring sauce to a simmer
Mix together ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, basil, spinach and 1 cup of marinara sauce and add to the pasta. Mix well.
Pour remaining sauce over pasta and sprinkle remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese on top
Cover loosely with aluminum foil
Bake in a 325 degree oven for 50 minutes
Take out of oven and let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.

This dish goes well with a salad and garlic bread! Yummy!!!

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