Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Pronto Pasta Bake

Fall is in the air, folks...and we don't know about you, but we are ready for some good "warm your belly" type of meals. We all have a couple of those that we make over and over through the chillier that everyone likes and that take just the basic ingredients that you almost always have in your pantry. This pasta bake is at the top of that list around here! It goes together quickly, and is pretty versatile - we often add extra veggies, just whatever we have in the fridge at the time. Not only that, but it makes a pretty good sized amount...a whole 9x13 pan of pasta. That's good for a meal or two, and lunch the next day!

Pronto Pasta Bake

12 oz. rotini pasta (use whole grain if you can!)
2 medium zucchini, coarsely chopped (approx. 2 cups)
1 c. torn spinach leaves (or more, if you want!)
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 (48 oz.) jar spaghetti sauce
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 c. grated fresh parmesan cheese
2 c. shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven to 375. Cook pasta and drain.

Chop zucchini and tear spinach leaves to desired size. We like them bigger, but the kids pick them out if they aren't too small to be worth their time, so do what works for you! Press the garlic into a bowl, or if you don't own a garlic press, chop finely. Add zucchini, spinach, spaghetti sauce, and basil.

In a 9x13 pan, layer 1/3 of the spaghetti sauce mixture, 1/2 of the pasta, 1/3 of the spaghetti sauce mixture, and 1/2 of each of the cheeses. Repeat the layers with the remaining pasta, sauce, and cheeses. Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 5 more minutes until the cheese is nice and gooey. Whatever you do, restrain yourself from digging right in and taking a's HOT!!! Let it sit for 5-10 minutes so you don't have blisters all over the roof of your mouth. Trust us on this one!! We've learned the hard way!!


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