|Behold...the Pasta Bake! Do you remember a while back, (I can't remember what company it was) there was a sauce that you could buy that marketed itself as an easy pasta bake. I think it got discontinued. So, the illustrator and I talked about it and figured we could use the same idea, but with our favorite bottled sauce. This is my standby whenever I need to make something simple, hot, quick and delicious! I am a huge fan of great base recipes that can be changed up for things you have on hand. I like making pasta bakes when people are coming over for dinner because it is easy to make multiples to suite everyone's tastes without going overboard on price! This one can go as fancy as you like to as plain as you like. The other day, I made a pan of plain cheese and a pan with pepperoni, roasted red peppers, onions and garlic. This recipe is great with grilled vegetables and the guys like turkey Italian sausage (browned).
1 16oz box of penne rigate pasta (the one with the lines)
1 26 oz jar of your favorite pasta sauce
1 jar of water
8 oz. of your favorite dairy free mozzarella cheese, shredded
your favorite add-ins (as much or a little as you like)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a 13x9 baking pan, mix the pasta, sauce, water and add-ins. Cover the pan with foil (or I use a baking sheet to save the foil) and bake for 50 minutes. Next, add the cheese on top and bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted (I bake it till it gets a little brown). Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes and then eat!
Now, on this occasion, I did not have any dairy free cheese. So, I decided to play with some cashews to make a topping for my pasta. I went a little crazy in the bulk bin aisle the other day, so I thought I would mix some of the cashews with some other ingredients to see what would happen. The biggest problem with my mixture is that I made such a small amount that I could not get the food processor to blend it smooth. I have to admit, though, that I liked it this way. It was more of a ricotta type topping with fresh herbs. I am curious to know what it would be like if it was smooth though. I did bake it on top of my pasta, but I don't know that it made much of a difference in the end product. I am definitely going to play with this mixture more and see what happens! I guess for those of us that are dairy (and now) soy free...playing with our food is the only way to eat! Every meal seems to me more of an adventure!
Oh, if you have not gone to One Frugal Foodie and entered her give away for gluten free/dairy free goods...go check it out! I did!
Labels: main course, vegetables