Thursday, February 10, 2011

baked penne anyone.....veggie style.

I try to make dinner for my family every night and like everyone sometimes I get stumped. I always try and cover the three basic food groups in every meal. This dish has it all - sauteed mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, tofu and cheese. Super simple and very good.

Okay - here we go..... First get yourself your favorite beverage and put on some music -this is very important!

1 container of cremini mushrooms
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 chopped onion
2 cloves fine chopped garlic
2 cups chopped spinach (frozen is okay)

Heat up a skillet with olive oil. Make sure you use a nice size skillet so that you won't run out of room. I use a 5qt skillet. Slice mushrooms, add to olive oil and start to saute. When the mushrooms are half way done, add the onion and garlic and continue to cook until nice and brown. Heat and drain spinach and add to mixture. Bring your heat to low. Be sure to season and taste as you go.

1 14oz can of whole tomatoes - blended
1 tbs butter
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 block tofu
1/4 tsp chili flakes
1 lbs of penne pasta
8 oz of mozzarella cheese - grated
1/2 cup parmesan cheese - grated
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400. While mushroom/spinach mix is cooking, blend tomatoes. I usually buy whole tomatoes and blend them myself. I know it is an extra step, but its better than buying blended - trust me. I will explain in a future post...i promise. Anyway, add blended tomatoes, butter - mix and let simmer. In a bowl break up tofu and ricotta cheese add chili flakes and add to the mix. Bring your heat up to medium low and let simmer until sauce begins to thicken - be sure to season well with salt and pepper. At this point start to boil your pasta - follow package instructions. Boil it a little bit under al dente. While all of this is happening get your cheeses and casserole dish ready. Once pasta is done, drain it but do not rinse. Now you are ready to build. Lay penne on the bottom, one layer of mixture, one layer of mozzarella cheese, one layer of parmesan cheese and repeat (like lasagna). Be sure to end up with a cheese layer. Put in the oven for 25 minutes - because everything is already cooked, all you are doing is melting the cheese and letting it brown. If your cheese is not browning on the top, turn broiler on for the last 5 minutes. Tadaa!

If you have the time, double the recipe and build two. Bake one and freeze the other for another day.


Annette said...

Looks yummy Maria! I owe you a phone call. Hope you had fun in Vegas!

Annette said...
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