Tag Archives: dinner tonight

Recipe: No-Boil Pasta Bake

no boil pasta bake

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!

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Eat well on $4 a day.

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Good and Cheap, the Kickstarter funded PDF which showcases how to eat well on ANY budget, is now available in book form! Leanne Brown created this collection of go-to recipes while pursuing a master’s in food studies and food policy from New York University. Brown believes, “everyone should eat great food every day. Eating well means learning to cook. It means banishing the mindset that preparing daily meals is a huge chore or takes tremendous skill.” Good and Cheap was created with many budget savvy folks in mind, but particularly those living on the U.S. food stamp budget of $4 a day. The book teaches you how to prepare dishes ranging from tomato soup to deconstructed cabbage rolls, gives handy tips for creative leftovers, and features gorgeous photography.

Kudos to Leanne for this amazing idea and for her  continued efforts to get a copy in the hands of those who may need it the most. I’m thrilled to have this reference handy! It’s become a favorite guide in my kitchen and a lovely book just to flip through for inspiration.

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Need even MORE of a reason to purchase?  For every copy bought, a free copy will be given to a person or family in need. Books are distributed through food charities and non-profits so that someone else can have a resource for making healthy and delicious food. Buy one. Give one. Pretty cool, right?

P.S. A meal plan I created using recipes from Good and Cheap and my thoughts on food culture.