The first night of the Pantry Challenge went well. With this luscious baked pasta, Caesar Salad and warm bread sticks, no one felt like they were being deprived. Hopefully they will still be happy by the end of the week!
I found this recipe for Baked Rigatoni Pasta with Garlic and Basil Marinara Sauce from Fun and Food the other day and I knew it was a perfect Pantry recipe, made from things I always keep on hand. It was easy to make and quite tasty. Next time I'll add a bit more water to the sauce. It ended up a bit thick. I would also mix the sauce with the pasta before baking to spread the sauce throughout the dish. There was quite a bit of pasta in the bottom with no hint of sauce. (Which did work out okay since picky dd won't eat sauce! LOL!)
Baked Rigatoni Pasta with Homemade Garlic and Basil Marinara Sauce
Recipe from Fun and Food
For the Marinara Sauce
2 cans tomato puree
1 can diced roma tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
3-4 large cloves of garlic - minced
2 tbsp dried basil leaves
2 tsp dried oregano leaves
1/2 small onion - finely chopped
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
lemon juice - add to taste if necessary
water - add to adjust consistency
10 oz Rigatoni pasta
1/2 capsicum - finely diced
1 cup mozarella cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 tsp dried thyme leaves
Place the olive oil in a small frying pan and warm to medium heat. Add the garlic and onions, and cook until onions are slightly tender.
Now add the tomato puree and the diced tomatoes, add 1/2 cup water and allow to cook. for 5 minutes so the tomato pieces get almost mashed and tender. Then add the dried basil and oregano leaves, salt, sugar and more water if needed, then cover and let it simmer on medium-flame till all flavors are mixed well.
Once cooked, remove from flame and allow to cool a little. If you like a smoother texture, you can blend this mixture after it has cooled down to form a puree. I like a chunky texture, so I left it as it is.
Take the Rigatoni and cook it according to package instructions.
Take 1 tbsp olive oil and heat it. Add the chopped capsicum to it and cook until slightly tender.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a square or rectangular glass baking dish or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Layer the cooked pasta in the dish, top it with the sauted capsicum, then gently pour the marinara sauce over it. Add the parmesan and mozzarella cheese to it. Sprinkle some more dried basil and thyme leaves on the top if you like.
now bake at 375 degrees for about 20-25 minutes, until the pasta and sauce is cooked well and the cheese begins to melt. Change the setting to Broil and cook for another 2 mins, just so the cheese on the top gets a little golden in color.
Remove from oven and allow to cool a little. Serve the hot Baked Rigatoni Pasta with Homemade Garlic and Basil Marinara Sauce with a side salad or garlic bread for a delicious Italian Meal!