Saturday, November 6, 2010

Baked Penne

Two nights ago I made one of our family's favorite dinner - Baked Penne.

The rightful name actually is Baked Rigatoni from the Saving Dinner cookbook, but since TJ doesn't carry that pasta I just got what looks close enough to it and made a couple more modification on the recipe to call it my own. :)

Oh and I doubled the recipe to make two meals out of one cooking effort - my kind of cooking. 

I do make a monthly menu but I cook daily most of the time.  I so much wanted to try the monthly cooking but Robert is not keen on eating "frozen dinners" too many times in a week, so I try to double a favorite recipe, especially the one with sauce involved, somehow it taste better after a few more nights of the "soaking in" even in the freezer.

Perhaps one day I will figure a way to make delicious monthly cooking meals, but for now, two meals at a time works for me.

Now onto the recipe:
I preheated the oven to 350 degrees F.

 Remember, I doubled the recipe.  So my ingredients included 1 pound extra-lean ground beef, 2 cups rolled oats (I soak my oats), 2 jars of Spaghetti sauce (I use one big can of Marinara sauce instead), 2 cup non-fat cottage cheese (I used the small curd and I think it is whole milk), 6 cups cooked Rigatoni (I cooked a whole bag of Penne Pasta instead), 2 cup shredded part-skim-milk mozzarella cheese (I used whatever was left on hand - which was more than 2 cups, and it is just fine with us.  We love lots of cheese) and 1/2 cup of grated Romano cheese.

Got my oats soaked and drained (I soaked it early in the morning.  It would be even better if I did it the night before) 

Got my pasta cooked and drained according to the pasta's package instruction.


Browned my ground-beef in the skillet. (you can drain the grease and blot the beef with paper towel to make it leaner - I didn't)

 Now added the soaked oats and incorporated them.

Normally, I just add the spaghetti sauce, cottage cheese, and the Penne Pasta into the skillet, but because I doubled the recipe, it was easier for me to mix up the ingredients by transferring the beef and oats from the skillet into a big mixing bowl before adding the ingredients.

All mixed.

I divided the mixture into two 9x13 baking dishes.  I lined one (for storage and reheat purpose).

Twenty-five minutes later. Mmmmm..... dinner is ready!

The best part is, dishes were done (I washed as I went).

One meal for the night,

Another same meal for next week.

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