Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Caprese Pasta Bake

Who is sick and tired of turkey? This girl. It is times like this that I am ready to throw in the towel on turkey themed leftovers and have something different. This pasta bake is the perfect, simple meal to ease you back into your regularly scheduled routine. It is also a big hit with kids, so I often make it when I know we will be having mini-guests along with our adult-sized guests. The sweet, plump cherry tomatoes make this dish even easier - no chopping!  This is another great dish to take into work for lunch as leftovers.  It reheats beautifully so you don't have to bring in another turkey sandwich.  Sometime a good vegetarian meal is in order and this is one that we will be making over and over in our house.
Caprese Pasta Bake
1 lb. rigatoni (or other tube) pasta
2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 pint ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Italian Seasonings (or a few sprinkles each of dried basil and oregano)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
olive oil

1.  In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta according to the box instructions for al dente.
2.  In a medium bowl, mix together ricotta, egg, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
3.  Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water.   (I just dip a coffee mug into the water to reserve some before draining).  Drain the pasta and put the drained pasta back into the pot.
4.  Drizzle the pasta with 1/4 cup olive oil.  Toss in the whole cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and fresh basil.  Add about 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.  Toss to combine.
5.  Spray a large casserole dish with non-stick spray and pour half of the pasta mix into the dish.
6.  Dollop generous spoonfuls of the ricotta mixture on top of the pasta.  Use up all the ricotta.
7.  Add the rest of the pasta mix to the dish and pour the pasta water over evenly.  Sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese.
8.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes until the pasta begins to brown on top and the cheese is melting.
Serve up and enjoy!

One Year Ago: Steaks with Chimichurri Sauce
Two Years Ago: Chipotle Pumpkin Turkey Chili
Three Years Ago: Antipasti Platter


  1. I've always said that casseroles are the ultimate expression of love!

  2. I've heard that casseroles are a true expression of love!