Sep 22, 2011

Three Cheese Penne Pasta Bake

Penne pasta bake

I think pasta is one of my favorite things to make - it is ridiculously easy, always tastes great and is one of those things that goes well with pretty much any combination of things you may have hiding in your fridge . . . meat, veggies, cheese, sauces.   This pasta bake recipe has become our go-to meal when we have the most random things left and it always blends everything together perfectly - and tastes like that was exactly what the recipe called for.  For this particular time, we used ground beef, zucchini, onions, spinach and we had some bacon that needed to be used up, so we threw that in too.  We usually prefer Prego sauce, but decided to go out on a limb and try Giada De Laurentiis' Tomato Basil pasta sauce, since we had just seen a review that said it was the one of the best celebrity sauces - it was definitely incredibly tasty and added a little extra flavor.  The recipe calls for just chicken and spinach, but we have experimented with just about every combination of vegetables and meat and it does not matter what you add to this - it will still be amazing!

* Recipe notes: I add more mozzarella cheese in the mixture (about 1 cup) and then make sure to top it with plenty of cheese (about 1 cup) before baking.  I add extra spices like chili powder, red pepper flakes, and garlic to give it lots o' flavor!  I add more sauce than what the recipe calls for too, I used the whole jar of sauce (23.5oz) - I just like things saucy!  I use about 3 cups of pasta to make plenty of extra for leftovers.  Add a little extra cream cheese if you want it creamier.

Cooking beef and squash

Boiling noodles with spinach

Giada De Laurentiis pasta sauce


Three cheese penne pasta bake

Pasta bake

Beef and veggie pasta bake

19 comments:

  1. This looks delicious! I never made baked pasta before, but I always wanted to. I think I might after seeing yours. :)

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  2. well there go any good food decisions i was going to make today...that looks AWESOME!!! nice touch boiling the spinach with the pasta. i do the same thing! :)

    www.cupcakesomg.blogspot.com

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  3. uhmmm. Looks so yummy!

    Patience
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  4. Holy YUM.
    That is such a great idea.
    I read somewhere that people will cook up several different kinds of pastas, and toppings, then just store them in different containers. Through the week, they'll pick out a pasta and a topping mix them together, heat and serve. :-) I might have to try this!

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  5. Following you back dear and the food look delicious! thank you xx Joice

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  6. omg thank you for posting this. I needed a dinner idea for tonight and this is it!

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  7. Yay!! You're welcome! Let me know how it is!!

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  8. Uhhhhh - that's genius!! I love that idea! Thanks for sharing!!! :)

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  9. Thanks! Oh gosh, pasta is so easy - you'll love it! Let me know how it turns out! :)

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  10. Thank you!!!

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  11. Lol!!! Thank you! Not quite sure how paleo-friendly this is . . . but . . . . ;)

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  12. Yummy! Thanks for the recipe ;)

    xo, tasha
    twenty-something blog

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  13. Oh yum! That looks amazing! I LOVE pasta bake! :D
    By the way, thanks so much for following my blog! :) I want to follow yours, but Firefox keeps giving me an error. I am about to load Safari... :P

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  14. AHA! Google Friend Connect WIN through Safari! :)

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  15. Yay!! Thank you!! Lol, stinkin' Firefox! :)

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  16. Pasta is in the oven. Thank you Sherry for another fantastic meal! The house smells so good right now and I am sure the kids will gobble it up. I left out the meat so I could enjoy it as well.

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  17. Yay!!!! I can't wait to hear what you think of it!!! Yeah, it can easily be a great no-meat dish!!! :)

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  18. if i was banned to eat only one type of food for the rest of my life it would definitely be pasta and italian food. hand down the best comfort food =)

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