Cheesy Italian Pasta Bake- Even my meat loving boys love this hearty pasta dish. Serve it with a tossed green salad for a complete meal.
I came up with this recipe trying to copy a dish that I ordered at a local Italian restaurant. It didn’t turn out quite like the original, but my family loved it, so I’m keeping it the way it is. It is a great recipe for nights that you are in a hurry and forget to take the meat out of the freezer to defrost. Does that happen to anyone else, or am I the only knucklehead?
Serve this with a green salad and these breadsticks and you will feel just like you are eating pasta at an Italian restaurant.
- 3 cups dry penne pasta
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 1/2 tsp dry basil
- 1/4 tsp dry oregano
- 1/4 tsp dry thyme
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 8oz can tomato sauce
- 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
Cook pasta in salted water till barely done. Don't overcook! Set aside.
Melt butter in a saucepan. Whisk in the flour, then the milk. Whisk and boil for at least 1 minute.
Add spices and garlic. Stir in the tomato sauce and the parmesan cheese. Add to the noodles and stir well.
Pour into a greased 2 1/2 quart casserole dish. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
Cover and bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes.