Cupboard Raider Baked Pasta
1 lb. dried pasta (any will do, but I usually use tubular macaroni-types - penne, ziti, rigatoni...macaroni!)
1 jar of pasta sauce (see - really easy! This can be anything you have...you can even use a can of tomatoes - but the sauce has seasoning already)
1-2 c. Vegetables (garlic, onions, mushrooms, spinach, zucchini...again anything you have- and are optional if you have zilch)
1 cup ricotta cheese (I like the whole milk kind - not that much more fat. Since this is not available everywhere, you can use cottage cheese too)
Grated Parmesan cheese - the amount depends on how much you like it!
Salt and pepper
Fresh herbs (parsley, thyme etc.) or Italian seasoning
2 tbp. Oil (I use extra-virgin olive oil)plus more for greasing dish
Preheat oven to 375C:
Slice veggies the way you like - not too chunky
Heat oil in pan over medium-high, and cook veggies until almost done (not overdone)
Meanwhile...boil water indicated on pasta box and cook pasta the accorded time. You can salt water just before you add the pasta.
The pasta should be almost done - it will cook further in the oven.
Season ricotta with 1/4 c. parmesan, herbs/seasoning, salt/pepper (to your taste) and mix.
Once pasta is done and drained, pour into a large bowl and add pasta sauce and veggies. Stir to mix and add parmesan if desired - stir again.
Lightly oil an appropriately sized casserole dish.
Pour in a layer of pasta, then scoop ricotta over pasta. Cover with the rest of the pasta.
Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes.
Have fun with different cheeses (good way to get rid of those old hunks that just won't go away)
Check out my ricotta recipe for more ideas -coming soon!
Pairs Well With
Here's a recipe that I do whenever I'm in a pinch - this has elements that stay the same each time, but you can mix and match ingredients. It always turns out! In fact, I made this tonight: