Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Super Fast Pasta Bake

I love to find quick and easy dinner ideas and this is one of my very favorites! I love that it's super fast and simple. I love that I can change up the way it tastes by varying a couple of the ingredients. I love that it's cheesy (who doesn't love that!). I also love that you can make it smaller, I always half this recipe and it turns out great! Most of all, I love that everyone in our family will eat this with no complaints. I found this recipe at Real Mom Kitchen, it's one of my very favorite blogs, and if you haven't already checked it out, you should because it's amazing! I hope that you all have an amazing Thanksgiving tomorrow!

Super Fast Pasta Bake
Real Mom Kitchen

8 oz elbow macaroni or other small shaped pasta, uncooked
4 1/2 cups spaghetti/marinara sauce (1 jar)
1 cup water
1 can petite diced tomatoes (this is where it's fun! I usually use either Italian or a garlic/onion can)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or use an Italian blend)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Place marinara, tomatoes, and water in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Stir in the uncooked pasta. Cover with foil, bake for 45 minutes to an hour, you're looking for your pasta to be tender here. Top with the cheese and bake for a few more minutes uncovered, just until the cheese is melted.

Another thing I like to do with this recipe is throw in some frozen meatballs (I like the ones from Costco). I'd probably use 12-16 if I was making the full recipe and you don't need to do anything special to it.

How I half this recipe:

1 cup macaroni
1/2 bottle marinara
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1/2 cup water

Put recipe together the same way as for a full recipe, but bake in an 8x8 baking dish instead. You could also put the whole recipe together, separate into two 8x8 pans and freeze one before baking. Then you'd want to thaw the frozen one for about 24 hours, and bake for probably around an hour and a half at 350 degrees. 

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