Monday, March 22, 2010

Easy Basil Cheese Baked Pasta

Forget a 30 minute meal, this yummy little baby goes together in about 20...if you include the time it takes to get your water boiling. While I normally prepare this as a meat-free dish, it would be spectacular with some chicken or shrimp thrown in. ENJOY!!!

  • 1 box (1 pound) penne pasta
  • 1 jar (26 ounces) favorite marinara sauce. I use Trader Joe's Tomato Basil Marinara , but when I lived near Sunflower Market (sniff, sniff) the Sunflower Market Garlic Basil was awesome too!
  • 1 cup store bought pesto sauce at room temperature. Both the Trader Joe's and Costco's Kirkland Signature brand of refrigerated pesto get my vote!
  • 1 cup Ricotta cheese at room temperature.
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for sass factor*
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, or fresh would be divine, but since sometimes convenience wins, go ahead and take that help from the store.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta, cook to al dente.

Gently warm marinara sauce in a pot on the stove.

Preheat your broiler and place rack in center of oven.

Drain pasta, then add back to warm pot. Gently stir in Ricotta cheese and Pesto sauce until pasta is coated. *If you are feeling sassy, throw a handful of grated Parmesan in as well. Pour into a casserole dish or 13x9 baking pan. Pour the hot marinara sauce over top of the pasta. Top with mozzarella cheese and add a final sprinkle of 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Place the casserole dish under the broiler, about 10-12 inches from the heat. Let cheese melt and bubble on top, 3-5 minutes.

Seriously, didn't I say it was fast?! While the pasta is boiling, make it an entire meal by baking some garlic bread and assembling a salad! This recipe is a Siggy Spice time saver tweaked version of a similar Rachael Ray recipe.

I am linking this recipe at Taste and Tell's Saturday's with Rachael Ray and Mommy's Kitchen Sunday Potluck


  1. Yum Yum Yum..I make something very similar to this..but I am too lazy to bake it so I just do it all in the skillet!

  2. Wow this looks delicious!!!! Love your blog

  3. Thanks to Mommy's Kitchen for providing a link.

    This would definitely be a winner at any potluck. I love the ease of prep and the amount of ingredients.