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Marla's Baked Penne Marguerite - Decadent and Delicious!
Easy recipe with lots of style.
EASY & DELICIOUS BAKED PENNE
Making pasta dishes is one of my favorite things. My husband always says they taste best when I put extra love in it. But what he really means is he likes the ones that take that little bit of extra effort to taste awesome!
Any tube type or spiral pasta may be used for this dish, i.e. ziti, mostaccioli, rotini or gemelli. I do not recommend spaghetti, linguine or fettucine as they do better with poured on sauces and do not bake as well.
INGREDIENTSClick thumbnail to view full-size
- 2 boxes Penne pasta, 16 oz box
- 2 15 oz cans Tomatoes (no salt), diced or petite diced
- 1 rounded tbsp Garlic, minced from jar
- 1 stick Butter, unsalted or salted
- 2 cups Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 tbsp Oregano, fresh or dried
- 1 tbsp Parsley, fresh or dried
- 1 tpsp Basil, fresh or dried
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper, pre-ground is fine
- 1/2 cup Ricotta chese, any brand
- 1/2 cup Heavy Cream, any brand
- 2 tablespoons Sea Salt, better for you
- 2-4 cups Mozzarella Cheese, any brand
Other Needed Items
LARGE PASTA POT
6 quart full recipe, 4 quart 1/2 recipe
cooking pasta per package
1 & 1/2 to 2 quart
EXTRA LARGE BAKING PAN
10 X 15 inches, 9 x 13 for 1/2 recipe
baking the pasta
LONG HANDLED SPOON X 2
tall enough to reach above side of pasta pot
stirring pasta & sauce
1 tablespoon (tbsp) & 1/2 teaspoon (tsp)
MEASURING CUP X 2
2 cup & 1/2 cup
wet and dry ingredients
Long Handled Spoon
Making the pasta
- Melt the butter in the sauce pan on medium heat. Add garlic (I used minced from jar) and both cans of tomatoes including juice.
- Bring to a good simmer on medium heat and turn down to low simmer if not a non-stick pan. If a non-stick pan is used it can be left at a medium simmer but not boiling.
- Fill pasta pot with water and about 2 tablespoons of sea salt. If you only have regular salt, use 1 tablespoon. Bring pot to a roiling boil (covering will get pot to boil faster).
- Cook pasta to package directions, for "Al Dente". Pasta should be slightly chewy because you will be baking it also.
- After you have put the pasta in water and returned to boil for cooking, check the sauce. Tomatoes should no longer smell raw. If you like you can use a potato masher to crush them further, or leave the large pieces. I usually crush them a little bit.
- Next, preheat the oven to 350. Then add all of the spices and one cup of the grated Parmesan cheese to the sauce and continue simmering till pasta is done.
- When the pasta is done, drain it, BUT NOT ALL THE WAY. Either reserve a cup of pasta water, or pour most of the pasta into the colander reserving some in the pan with some of the water.
- Put pasta with water back into the pasta pot.
- Add the heavy cream and Ricotta cheese to the sauce and stir for a minute or till well blended (with heat still on). Pour the sauce into the pasta in the pot and stir. Sauce will be sloppy.
- Spray the baking pan with cooking spray, I used olive oil spray.
- Pour half of the pasta and juice into the baking pan. Sprinkle with half of the Parmesan cheese and half of the Mozzarella.
- Repeat step 11. The pasta will appear very "sloppy" or "liquid" THIS IS NORMAL.
- Bake for 40 minutes and let rest for 10 minutes. Pasta thickens as it sits.
This is a rich pasta and most people will require only a cereal bowl or less to be satisfied. Two large serving spoons on a plate with a mixed salad or a salad of sliced tomato, cucumber, olives and onions will be sufficient to satisfy just about anyone.
If you opt for the veggies, take two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and two tablespoons of prepared pesto, stir together and toss the veggies with this dressing and some shredded fresh Parmesan or shredded from a bag or jar.