Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tomato and Mozzarella Pasta al Forno

I've never been much of a menu planner.
You know those people that make out their dinner menu plan for the week, month, year!
How do they do it? 

With an active, working teenager and professor/coach husband, I never know who is going to be home for dinner, so I usually just wing it.  The down side of winging it is running to the grocery store after work - which I hate and the expense.  So my goal for next month is to be one of those menu planners!  If you are one of those organized people, I would love to hear how you do it!  I need help!

As part of my plan, I have been going through my recipe collection and thinking about the dishes I already prepare that my family enjoys.  Pasta al Forno is one of those dishes.  It's easy to make and only takes 15 minutes to bake in the oven.  Pair it with salad and garlic bread and dinner is served!  This one is definitely going to be part of my plan :)

I use Barilla Plus penne pasta when making this dish. 
I prefer whole wheat, but my picky teenager does not. 
I can sneak in the Barilla Plus and she never notices :)

Cheesy, bubbly goodness!

Tomato and Mozzarella
Pasta al Forno
adapted from Annie's Eats
Serves 4

1 T olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 - 14 oz. can Italian Style diced tomatoes
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning or Oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups penne pasta (dry)
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup freshly ground parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a skillet.  Add the minced garlic and cook over medium heat for about a minute.
Add tomatoes and italian seasoning and simmer rapidly, stirring occasionally until thickened, about 15 minutes.  Add salt and pepper.  While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta.  Toss pasta with sauce.
Place half of the pasta in an 8x8 bake dish, sprayed with olive oil.  Cover with half of the parmesan and mozzarella cheese.  Top with remaining pasta, then parmesan and mozzarella.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

Note - this dish can easily be doubled and baked in a 9 x 13 inch pan.


  1. With a family of 6 I HAVE to be one of those "planners"! lol Every Wednesday night or Thursday, I scour through the blogs and recipes and plan out a weekly menu. I am one of those people who also gets so bored with eating the same things over and over, ad has to have something new. Maybe it's my OCD......hmm. With a big family, I depend on my calendar. I know who has what going on and when, I'm kinda anal about that. Now, my husband works in IT, and occasionally isn't home for dinner unexpectedly. But that's what leftovers....and a freezer are for. :) I love love love pasta, especially home made! This one is definitely going on a "menu"! :)

  2. This looks so delicious. I don't make al forno pastas enough.


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