Monday, February 18, 2013

A Two Timin' Pasta Bake!

Time for another pasta dish, and this one is pretty quick to make!  If your family enjoys penne alla vodka, this dish will be a hit!  On Pinterest you may find the pin labled "Two Timin' Pasta Bake".

The recipe calls for 5 ingredients and about 40 minutes of your time!  Seriously!  It comes from the blog Peals, Handcuffs, and Happy Hour!  Here are the ingredients and directions from the website (sans pictures):

1 box penne pasta

1 (15 oz.) jar Alfredo sauce

1 (24oz.) jar Marinara sauce

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to directions and drain.  Mix the sauces together in a large bowl.  Add the mozzarella and stir to combine.  Then toss in the penne and toss to coat.  Pour pasta into 9x13 baking dish and cook on 350 for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with shredded parmesan cheese and bake for another 5 minutes. 

Seems simple enough, right?  And if you make sure you're following the steps back to back, it literally took  about 40 minutes from start to finish!  Here's a picture of 3 of the 5 products we used:

I couldn't find an alfredo sauce that came in the same size as marinara, so don't freak out if you can't.  The flavor is just fine if you can't. ;)

 Remember when I mentioned that it would take about 40 minutes of your time?  It will as long as you start other steps while the pasta is cooking!  Penne cooks fast, about 7-10 minutes.  Since you'll be putting this dish in the oven, the pasta doesn't need to be completely done, but al dente.

Note: have you ever seen the pinterest tip about putting a wooden spoon over a boiling pot to prevent the contents from boiling over (as pictured on the left)?  It really does work!

Right after you put the pasta in the pot to start cooking, mix the mozzarella, alfredo sauce and marinara sauce together in a bowl.  Should only take you about a minute to complete!  If you haven't already, take out your 9x13 baking dish to get it ready.  You can also turn on your oven to start warming up to 350.  After that, you're just waiting on the pasta to finish cooking! ;)

Once the penne is done and you've drained it well, toss them straight into the bowl and start mixing it with the sauce to get them coated.  Pour the entire contents into your 9x13 baking dish.  Place in the oven and bake at 350 for 25 minutes (the time we went with).

When your time is up, open the oven and pull out the dish so you can sprinkle on the shredded parmesan cheese.  We didn't measure out 1 cup; pretty much sprinkled on as much as we liked (the husband is a parmesan cheese fan).  Place back in the oven for another 5 minutes so that the cheese can completely melt.

Voila!  The finished product!  It was a big hit with the kids!  My husband and I agree that while tasty, it is very, very close to a penne alla vodka flavor.  Let us know what your thoughts are on this dish!


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