Monday, January 14, 2013

Pasta al Forno

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 (14-ounces each) cans diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound penne pasta or other tube-shaped pasta
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes
2/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

In a large pot of lightly salted water, cook the pasta until al dente according to package directions. While the pasta is cooking, in a 10- or 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for one minute, until the garlic is fragrant. Add the tomatoes (undrained), oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is slightly thickened.
Add additional salt and pepper to taste, if needed.

After draining the pasta, return the noodles to the pot and pour in the sauce. Toss to combine. Lightly coat a 9X13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Place half of the pasta in the dish. Sprinkle half of the Parmesan and half of the mozzarella cubes over the top. Top with remaining pasta. Sprinkle remaining cheeses over the top. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes until hot and bubbly. Serves 6.

*Note to self, blend the tomatoes and seasonings together so kids don't gawk at chunks of tomatoes sprinkled with basil and oregano.

Recipe Source: from Mel's Kitchen Cafe, originally from Pasta by Dorling Kindersley