It may not look like much but if you’re looking for a ridiculously easy dinner recipe that will allow you to tastily use up some leftovers, this one is for you. How easy? You don’t even have to BOIL the pasta. Just chuck a baking dish in the oven and you’ll be gobbling up some tasty noodles in less than an hour. Now I mentioned using leftovers….this bake can be customized based on what’s been hanging out in your fridge for too long. Got any cooked or roasted veggies from earlier in the week? Toss ’em in! I added in some leftover roasted sweet potatoes (delicious!) but I would love to try it with broccoli. You can also mix in fresh greens that may be soon to go off. Think: those big bags of spinach and kale that you always promise yourself you’ll go through before they go bad but never do. The finished product reminded me of the made-to-order pasta we used to get in the “Pasta Line” at Western Kentucky University. They would always have the most random vegetable additions on deck and once your dish was complete the ladies working the station would bark “Which cheese?” All of them. Give me allll of the cheese.
What you’ll need…
– 1 jar (24 oz) of pasta sauce
– 1 box (12 oz) of medium sized noodles (like rigatoni, penne, or rotini)
– 24 oz water
– 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
– Basil and oregano, to taste
– Any roasted veggies or fresh greens you have on hand, 1-2 cups
and how it all comes together…
– Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
– Combine uncooked pasta, tomato sauce, water, seasonings, and leftover veggies in a large bowl.
– Grease a large casserole dish (9 x 13) or 2 small baking dishes (6 x 6). Note: I know those 2 dimensions don’t seem to add up but I’ve found they both work for these ingredient amounts so I’m goin’ with it. If you’re cooking for 1 or 2, I recommend using the 2 smaller dishes as you can eat one and save one for later. Feed that freezer!
– Pour your pasta mixture into greased baking pans.
– Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.
– Uncover and give everything a good stir. Top with the mozzarella cheese and throw it back in the oven (uncovered) for another 10 minutes or until the cheese looks ooey-gooey!
– Add Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes to serve.
BRB, off to heat up some leftovers! Do you have a favorite way of re-purposing veggies from earlier in the week? Would you add them to pasta? It’s so cheap and easy!