Saturday, September 8, 2012

Tomato Basil and 3 Cheese Baked Pasta

 I have been having a hard time eating meat lately due to a lot of medical issues I have with my stomach.  I still want a hearty dish to fill me up just like everyone else, so yesterday I decided to make a vegetarian pasta dish, and make it just as hearty as any meat pasta dish.  What I ended up with was a delicious, and filling.  My husband loved it just as much, and didn't even mind that there wasn't any meat.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

1 lb. Rigatoni (or any similar pasta)
28oz. Diced tomatoes with sauce
14oz. Tomato Sauce
8oz. Tomato Paste
2 1/2 tsp. Dried Basil
2 1/2 tsp. Dried Oregano
2 1/2 tsp. Dried Basil
1 small can of Mushrooms, drained
1/4 tsp. Pepper
1/8 tsp. Salt
1 Tbs. Olive Oil
1/2 Onion, diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 cup Ricotta Cheese (or cottage cheese)
1 cup shredded Parmesan
1 cup shredded Mozzarella

In a big pot pour in your oil and cook your onion and garlic until fragrant.  Pour in your Tomatoes, tomato sauce, 2 tsp. of each seasoning, mushrooms, and salt and pepper.  Slowly work in your tomato paste until smooth.  Once everything is combined and it is hot, turn to simmer and let sit while you cook your pasta.

Cook your pasta according to package directions.  When you put your water on the stove, turn your oven to 350 degrees F. Reserve 1/2 cup of your starchy pasta water when you drain your cooked pasta.

While your water is heating mix all 3 cheeses, and the remaining 1/2 tsp. of each of your dried seasoning together.  Mix until combined and then sit aside.

Once you have cooked and drained your pasta, put back into the hot pot, and mix with cheeses and pasta water until the pasta is well coated with cheese.  

Dump your pasta into a greased 9x13 baking dish, and dump the tomato sauce on top.  Sprinkle with a little cheese if desired and toss in your oven for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven, let sit for about 10 minutes and then serve with my garlic bread recipe.  Enjoy!

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