Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Baked Three Cheese Penne Pasta

I love the culture of my state. 
 In West Virginia, we are not southerners, we are not Yankees, we are just good ol' fashioned country people. 
What does that mean? 
Well, for example, recently some friends of ours moved into a new home.  There was a lot to be done, and not a lot of time to do it in.  There were people coming to do some work in their house, and they were also getting ready to leave for vacation.  So what do country people do when they hear something like this?  That's simple...
"What can I bring you for dinner?" 

With one simple FB message, a weeks worth of meals were heading their way! 
Let me just tell you that does not happen everywhere, and it is one of the MANY reason I LOVE being a Mountaineer!

So what did I bring you ask?
I brought the most AMAZING Three Cheese Penne Baked Pasta you have ever tasted of course! 
Let me how you how I made it! 

Baked Three Cheese Penne Pasta:
*Prep Time:  20 min.  *Cook Time:  30 min. *Difficulty:  Easy  *Servings:  6-8
  • 1 lb. Ground Beef
  • 1 lb. Penne Pasta
  • 1 28 oz. can of Whole Tomatoes
  • 1 Jar of Marinara Sauce
  • 1 8 oz. tub of Mascarpone Cheese (or cream cheese)
  • 1 egg
  • 8 oz. Shredded Mozzarella
  • 8 oz. Shredded Parmesan
  • 4 tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • 1 tbsp. Onion Powder
  • 1 tbsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 tbsp. Chopped Parsley
  • Pot for pasta
  • Deep skillet
  • Chef's knife
  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Rubber spatula
  • Baking dish
  • Grater
You will notice right off that there are no onions, garlic, or green pepper in this sauce.
That is because I am making this for a family with children. 
I don't know if they like these things, so that is why I leave them out, and replace them with
a jarred sauce, and powdered seasonings.
This way you get all of the great flavor, without the ingredients that may be a little less desirable to children.
Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.

One thing that will not change, is that you will begin by bringing a salted pot of water to a boil.
When the water comes to a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook until TWO MINUTES UNDER the recommended time on the box.

While you are waiting for the water to come to a boil,
Place your skillet over medium/high heat, brown the ground beef.
Be sure to season with salt and pepper.

While your meat is browning, combine the mascarpone cheese,
1/2 of the mozzarella, 1/2 of the parmesan, egg, 1/2 of the parsley, salt
and pepper.

Mix together.

When your meat is browned, add the whole tomatoes.

Next, add the jarred sauce.

Now it is time for the brown sugar,

onion powder,

And garlic powder, as well as salt and pepper to taste.

Take your rubber spatula and gentle break up the whole tomatoes.
Then allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Remove about a cup of the sauce and set aside to cool.

Once cool, add to the cheese mixture and...

Stir until smooth.

When your pasta is finished cooking, add it to the cheese mixture.

Stir until all of the pasta is coated.

Now it is time to bake!
Add a little of the sauce to the bottom of the baking dish.
This will help keep it from sticking.

Now add a layer of pasta.

A layer of sauce.

a layer of cheese,

And repeat.
Sprinkle with the remaining chopped parsley.
and place in a 375 degree oven for 20-30 minutes until golden brown. 

*sigh*  Would you look at that!?!  Who WOULDN'T want to eat that!?!

I guarantee that if you bring this to a friend's table, or even your own table for that matter, it will be a total show stopper! 
Rich, hearty, cheesy, comforting...Mmmmmm
Everything you want your pasta to be!

I sent this along side a simple salad topped with bacon and cheddar cheese, and homemade ranch dressing.  OH YEAH!

Give this great pasta dish a try tonight, you won't regret it!

As Always,

Happy Reading, Happy Eating, and Happy Living,
~The Kitchen Wife~


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