Ahh...now that I am gainfully unemployed and still on a hunt for a job, I am left with an abundance of free time. Recently bought the Barilla Plus penne that is full of protein (thank you legumes) and decided I wanted to make a baked dish. Okay, so I'll be upfront and confess that I did not make anything from scratch in this modified recipe (see below), but it was darn good. The heartiness from the protein pasta made up for the lack of meaty goodness in this recipe.
I have never made a baked pasta dish, aside from lasagna and I have to say that combining the cheese mixture with the pasta before baking was new to me. Like lasagna, this was better the second day. Yum! I modified this recipe http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Baked-Ziti-II/Detail.aspx.
1 (16 ounce) package Barilla PLUS pasta
2 cups ricotta cheese
4 cups diced mozzarella cheese (I used Pizza Hut cheese)
1 egg, beaten
1 (32 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce (I used Ragu's marinara sauce because it was on sale)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 T oregano
2 T basil
1 t garlic powder
1 cup sour cream
2 T red pepper flakes (spicy!)
2 cups of frozen peppers (need veggies in the diet)
1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add penne and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain and rinse.
2. In a medium bowl, mix parmesan, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese (2.5 cups), sour cream, thawed peppers, herbs and red pepper, egg and 1 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
4. Pour a thin layer of spaghetti sauce in a 9x13 inch baking dish and spoon in penne mixture. Top with remaining spaghetti sauce, followed by remaining mozzarella cheese.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes; let stand for 15 minutes before serving.