Thursday, June 3, 2010

Easy. Light. Just Right.

That's the way I felt about this pasta. Well let me clarify on the "light" I don't mean light as in low fat, but rather in like not heavy. It's definitely not low fat with the pound of mozzarella in it and topped with parmesan cheeses. We had been out of town and while we ate deliciously, we had things like burgers, ribs, pizza, etc. So when planning my meals out once we got home this sounded just right. Something homey and hearty without being heavy. I also loved the fact that it was quick and easy- the perfect thing to make on a night that I had to go to the store.
I will definitely make it again. Ryan was a big fan and sometimes- as much as we love meat, something without it sounds good, so here ya go...

Baked Penne with Mozzarella and Basil

1 pound box penne pasta
16 oz. jar of vodka sauce ( I bought the expensive stuff this is a major component of it turning out good- and I had a 26 oz. jar and used it all- wouldn't want any less)
1 pound fresh mozzarella, cubed
1/ 2 cup loosely packed fresh chopped basil
shredded parmesan to top
*I would prob add garlic next time for some extra flavor.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook pasta according to package. Drain well and return to pot. Mix in vodka sauce, basil, mozzarella (salt and pepper). Pour into a two quart baking dish and top with parmesan. Bake for 20-25 minutes until bubbly.

We made bruschetta on the side. A little repetative, but it actually worked for us. And also, I got some potted herbs for mother's day that I have been loving making good use of any chance I get. It's just too bad my tomatoes aren't grown yet, then we will really be in business. This was DEEE-lish.

I toasted french bread in the broiler (on both sides so it was crispy). In a bowl I combined fresh chopped tomatoes, fresh chopped basil, fresh minced garlic, salt, pepper, a dash of olive oil, and a dash of balsamic vinegar. Topped it on the toasted bread, and topped that with the shredded parmesan. I don't think most people do this but I did once it was assembled I stuck it back in the broiler jsut long enough to start melting the cheese just to kind of mold it all together. Ryan and I both packed some pieces of those puppies away. YummY.

And yes, that is a bitten into piece of bruschetta. I couldn't even wait to take a pic to sink me teeth into it. It's just that good. =)