Sunday, April 7, 2013

Cheesy Baked Skillet Pasta

As much as I love to cook, when I get home from work I really want to unwind some before jumping into dinner plans. Watch Ellen, play with the dogs, surf the net. And I realize that a lot of people don't have that luxury - especially if you have small children who eat early. Which makes this recipe even more of a winner for you.

Jason doesn't get home until 6:30 or later so I usually have an hour or so before he gets home to just chill. Or cook dinner. But usually chill. And right before he gets home, I launch into whatever meal we're having that night. I almost always plan our weekday menu to be quick and easy so I'm not stuck in the kitchen too long.

Pasta, in my book, is always a good idea. Cheese? Also a good idea. Put them together and it's a great meal. This cheesy baked pasta is just that - GREAT. It's super fast, has a short list of ingredients, and serves up a big skillet full of cheesy pasta which is guaranteed to please even the pickiest eater.

This is like baked ziti... but easier. And on the table in 30 minutes!

Pasta and cheese for the win!

Cheesy Baked Skillet Pasta
1 pound gemelli pasta or other short cut pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 ounce) can san marzano whole peeled tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 (8 ounch) can tomato sauce
salt & pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded gouda cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
Cook pasta according to directions on package. Drain and set aside. Preheat broiler.
Heat olive oil in a large oven safe skillet. Saute garlic over medium high heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring so the garlic doesn’t burn. Add tomatoes, basil, parsley, oregano and crushed red pepper. Season with salt and pepper. Break up the tomatoes using the back of a wooden spoon and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly. Add the tomato sauce and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.
Remove from heat and stir in cooked pasta and shredded gouda, being careful to mix well.  
Top with the mozzarella cheese and place under broiler for 5-8 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Source: slightly adapted from Half Baked Harvest


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