Friday, October 29, 2010

Layered Pasta Bake

I was craving lasagna a few days ago, but I didn't want to mess with lasagna noodles, so I decided to make lasagna with penne. I'm calling it a layered pasta bake because it wasn't really lasagna, however, it tasted just like it! This one is simple to put together, tasted delicious, and reheated really well. The only thing I would have changed would be to add in some cooked spinach to the ricotta mixture, which I got from my spinach and ricotta stuffed shells recipe.

Layered Pasta Bake

3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 1/2 jars pasta sauce of your choice (I always blend mine with a pinch of sugar and extra garlic and basil)
1 pound box penne pasta, cooked and drained
2 cups ricotta cheese
2 cupped shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Mix pasta sauce and chicken together in a saucepan and heat through. In a large mixing bowl, add ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, parmesan, egg, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Add chicken and sauce mixture to cooked penne. In a greased casserole dish, spread 1/3 of the pasta mixture. Top with about 1/2 of the ricotta mixture. Repeat the layers, ending with pasta and sauce mixture. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese. Cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 20 minutes longer. To crisp the cheese, place under the broiler for 5 minutes, watching carefully. Enjoy!

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