Oven Baked Penne

Tuesday 30 December 2014

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After all of the turkey, ham etc. of Christmas and the leftovers, we fancied something completely different for our tea tonight.  To be honest I was feeling quite lazy also.  I did a shop this morning and after that, I was pooped.  It's freezing out there today.  The frost of the day has not melted and the sun is now going down. It's going to be a pretty cold night tonight!   Something warm and comforting was in order!

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I don't mind saying that I am a more than a little bit frightened at the way food costs are going up.  I didn't buy anything much out of the ordinary and I was shocked at how much my grocery bill came to.  I did score a package of ground beef that was marked down and yet was not out of date either and so I decided to use that to make us a tasty casserole today  . . .  albeit it a lazy one.

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I browned the beef really well in a nonstick pan along with some Italian garlic seasoning.  (It contains a mix of herbs, salt, pepper and garlic.  Any well flavoured Italian seasoning would do.) Once it was browned I added a couple of jars of pasta sauce and some water . . .

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I added some cheese that I had which needed using up before the end of the month . . .  ricotta and mozzarella . . . along with a bit of Parmesa . . . and then I stirred in some dry pasta .   I poured the whole lot into a buttered casserole dish, covered it tightly with foil and then baked it in a hot oven for about 55 minutes, by which time the pasta was all nicely cooked and all the flavours melded together.

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I sprinkled a bit more mozzarella on top and baked it a bit longer in order to let it get all bubbly and then dinner was served.  All we needed was a nice mixed salad on the side.   Easy peasy.  No hassle and definitely comfort food for a cold winter's day.   The pasta hater did not complain overly much.  Whew!

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*Oven Baked Penne*
Serves 4 to 6

A deliciously easy casserole that the family will love.  Perfect for those days when you just want to bang something into the oven and then eat.  

2 400g jars of pasta sauce (26 oz, I use Napolini tomato and basil)
340ml of water (about 1 1/2 cups)
425g of ricotta cheese (about 2 cups)
260g of grated mozzarella cheese, divided (2 cups)
50g grated Parmesan Ceese (1/4 cup)
1 pound ground beef
2 tsp Italian garlic seasoning
226g of uncooked penne pasta (8 ounces)  

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Brown the ground beef, breaking it up with a fork in a large skillet along with the Italian garlic seasoning.

Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6.   Lightly grease a 9 by 13 inch baking dish.   Set aside.

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Combine the pasta sauce, water, 1/2 of the mozarella cheese, the ricotta cheese and the parmesan cheese with the meat.   Stir in the uncooked pasta.  Pour this mixture into the prepared baking dish.  Cover tightly with foil.  Bake for 55 minutes.   Remove the foil and top with the remaining cheese.   Bake for 5 to 10 minutes longer, until nicely bubbling away.   Serve hot.

Quite Simply Delicious!


  1. Our kind of food Marie! This is definitely one for the 'Marie Folder'!
    I hope you, Todd and Mitzie had a lovely Christmas and I wish you a very happy and healthy new year. xxx

  2. I could go for this:)
    I have never cooked my pasta w/ the sauce except the no boil lasagna noodles..:)

  3. So glad you like it Pat! I hope you enjoy it when you make it! We did have a lovely Christmas. Happy New Year to you and Peter as well! xoxo

    I do it often Monique and it works out well. The pasta absorbs the sauce and the flavours really get in there! xoxo

  4. I make this dish Marie. I actually made it the day before Christmas eve. It's so easy to throw together and everyone loves it. I brought some to a neighbor who wasn't feeling well too. xoxo

  5. I know, it's positively simple and delicous Val! I am thinking your neighbor must have been well pleased to receive this! xoxo


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