Monday, August 19, 2013

Tri-Pepper Pasta Bake

I don't think I ever get tired of my make ahead meals. Over the past year, I've brought you my simple Baked Ziti, Three Cheese Veggie Penne Mac, No Boiling Butternut Squash Lasagna, Broccoli Penne Mac, Make Ahead Moussaka, Make Ahead Sun Dried Tomato Mac 'n' Cheese, Smoked Mozzarella Penne, and we cannot forget the amazing Cabonara Mac 'n' Cheese. Well just when you thought I couldn't bring you any more, I've got another delicious and effortless make ahead meal- Tri-Pepper Pasta Bake!

Yes, you can make this ahead of time. You can store it in the fridge. You can make it and freeze it. No boiling noodles required as the noodles bake and soak up all the flavor from the sauce. This fun twist on flavors will get even those picky eaters to give this dish a try. This Tri-Pepper Pasta Bake is a perfect, zesty weeknight meal.

Tri-Pepper Pasta Bake

Nonstick cooking spray
2 cups dry brown rice penne or rotini noodles
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup banana pepper rings, roughly chopped
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
2 tablespoons capers
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Spray a baking or casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. Heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and garlic. Simmer for 2 minutes. Add the banana peppers, roasted peppers, artichoke heart, capers, and crushed red pepper flakes. Simmer for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat. Add the noodles to a large mixing bowl. Pour the sauce over the noodles and toss to coat. Pour the mixture into your casserole dish. Top with the Parmesan cheese. At this point you can cover and store the pasta in the fridge until you are ready to bake and serve. When you are ready to bake and serve, cover the dish with foil and place in a cold oven. Set the oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil. Bake for 10 more minutes or until the cheese begins to turn golden brown around the edges and is bubbly in the middle. Cool for a few minutes before serving.

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