Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Smoked Cheese Pasta Bake

Last night was super lame dinner. Or white trash dinner...call it what you will. We had Pigs in a Blanket and I made up a box of pasta salad. See? Not worth posting. Don't feel like you missed anything.

I was trying out another neglected cookbook when looking for recipes this week. This was the Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2008, which is actually all the recipes they published in the magazine in 2007. There were lots of yummy recipes, but I was trying to find recipes that used stuff I already had on hand. All I had to buy for this was the smoked cheese (you have no idea how many times it just took me to type 'smoked').

Smoked Cheese Pasta Bake
1 pound uncooked penne (tube-shaped pasta)
1 (26-ounce) jar fat-free marinara sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
Cooking spray
1 1/2 cups reduced-fat sour cream
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded smoked farmer or mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.

Heat marinara sauce in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add salt, pepper, and spinach, stirring until blended; cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in cooked pasta.

Spoon half of pasta mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Combine sour cream, smoked cheese, and basil; spread over pasta mixture in dish. Spoon the remaining pasta mixture over sour cream mixture; sprinkle evenly with Parmigiano-Reggiano. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

*****

I'm so dumb, I went and looked up the recipe in the cookbook to type it up and then thought, "DUH! Copy it from the website." Pregnancy brain is hitting me hard. I'm also glad I read it and posted this when I did because I forgot about the spinach. Oh, and I'm not using a jarred sauce, I made up a basic tomato sauce using crushed tomatoes, garlic, onion, and Italian seasoning. It's the same one I made when I did the Eggplant Parmesan.

I can't decide if I should cut this recipe in half or leave it as is. I don't really feel like doing the math involved to cut it in half, but a 9x13 dish of pasta always makes so much. I guess I can freeze what's left if there's a lot.

1 comment:

Jen B. said...

This sounds good, I am interested to see how it turns out. Does the smoked cheese make a difference in the overall flavor?????