Monday, February 25, 2013

Feed A Crowd Pasta Bake

Some meals are meant for a crowd. And there is nothing easier (or better) for a hungry college student (and his roomates) than a pasta bake.  Some time is involved in boiling water and grating cheese, but this is definitely not rocket science.

Easy to make. Plenty to share. Leftovers rare. Mix, bake, serve.

Cheese can be expensive, but anyone planning to eat at the table can chip in a few bucks--flavor totally worth it!
If you like pasta cheesy, add a little more cheese.
If you like more moisture, add a little more sauce at the end.
Yep, that's about it in a nutshell, or Pyrex.

If your are really 'forward thinking' put half of the mix (uncooked) in a Tupperware and freeze it...sealed with duck tape and your name on it! Just be sure it's thawed before baking!


15"x10" Pyrex Rectangular baking dish
2 12" x 8"
(Or any combination of Pyrex)
PAM Spray

5-qt sauce pan (for boiling pasta)

Water with 2 tsp of salt

Large, large mixing bowl


2 lb Penne, Rigatoni, Rotini, or other short tube pasta, partially cooked, drained, set aside.

1 to 1 1/2 cups Gruyere cheese
1 to 1 1/2 cups Fontina cheese
8 oz Ricotta, part-skim
4 oz Cream Cheese or (Mascarpone), softened
1/4 cup Half-and-half
1 1/2 (28oz cans) crushed tomatoes including the liquid / puree in can
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp parsley
2 tsp basil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg
Salt & Pepper

1/2 cup Mozzarella, shredded
1 jar of your favorite Marinara / Vodka sauce


1. Wash your hands.
2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
3. Partially cook 2 lbs of penne pasta in salted boiling water (approx 8 min), drain and set aside.

Otherwise, this will turn to a hot, soggy mess.

4. In a large mixing bowl, mix the cheeses and rest of ingredients (to salt & pepper)together. Combine well.

5. Add drained pasta to tomato/cheese mixture. ( It should be slightly soupy, key word 'slightly', NOT 'swimming, drowned, submerged')
6. Empty into the prepared Pyrex dish(es)
7. Sprinkle pasta with 1/2 - 3/4 cup of marinara sauce and 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella.
7. Cover with aluminum foil.

8. Bake covered @ 425 degrees for 15' Remove foil and bake another 10-15' until top is golden.
9. Cool for 10' before serving.
10. Add salad, garlic bread--you got a meal!

Easily made the night before to throw into the oven after classes the next*

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