Rebecca's Cooking Journal

salt and pepper

Baked Pasta with Tomatos

I believe Sunday are meant to be a day of rest, including Sunday afternoons just before supper.

For that reason, I purposely don’t plan on cooking a big meat-and-potatoes supper. Instead, a simple pasta dish meets our needs: it fills our belly and is nourishing and tasty. And then we may have room left over for Sunday evening desert.

I found this recipe in a cookbook I got for my wedding called Favorite Brand Name Comfort Foods. It calls for Barilla brand Ziti pasta. I confess: I got a generic brand. I suspect it would also work fine with penne or a different cut pasta.

Two ingredients in this recipe might not need to be fresh. It called for four tomatoes, three of which were peeled, cut, seeded, and then diced. It took me forever! I suspect buying canned diced tomatoes and draining them very well would work just as well.

The recipe also calls for lots of chopped fresh basil. Because it was simmered with the sauce and then baked, I suspect using dried basil in smaller quantity would suffice; unless you grow your own basil, it would certainly would be cheaper.

Baked Pasta with Tomatos

adapted from Comfort Foods cook book

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients:

16 oz ziti (or penne) pasta
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp oregano (dried)
1 1/2 c milk
4 ripe tomatoes (about 2 lbs), divided
1/4 bread crumbs
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 c fresh basil leaves, chopped

Directions:

Cook ziti; set aside.

Prepare white sauce: melt butter in small saucepan over meadium heat. Add flour, salt, pepper, and oregano. Cook and stir 1 minute until bubbly. Gradually stir in milk; cook 2 to 3 minutes until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 350. Peel, seed, and chop three tomatoes (or, drain 1 1/2 cans diced tomatoes very well). Slice remaining tomato.

Combine bread crumbs and olive oil in small cup.

Combine cooked it, white sauce, chopped tomatoes, cheese, and basil in large bowl. Transfer to baking dish; arrange tomato slices on top and sprinkle with bread crumbs.

Bake 30 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.

One Response to “Baked Pasta with Tomatos”

  1. December 11th, 2010 at 8:13 am

    Chas Jerald says:

    Thank you so much for this, very interesting. I’ve been searching high and low for a specific pasta dish that my wife and I had on our first date in this nice Italian restaurant that has since closed. I found an entire site with just pasta recipe ideas (you might be interested) but so far still no luck in finding the one! Damnit… I’m fairly certain it had muscles in it.. Any ideas?