So the other day my BFF was going through a rough time so I decided to take her dinner.
Now, I couldn't think of anything that would travel well - she lives about an hour away.
Then it hit me.
I could make a pasta bake - cook it all the way except for the actual baking part.
Now, you could make this with a premade sauce - I just decided to do my own homemade sauce.
Here's what you'll need:
Choose any variety you like. I chose Dreamfields Penne. This brand only has 5 digestible carbs per serving and tastes like normal bad for you pasta.
For the sauce:
Whole peeled tomatoes
Cavender's Greek Seasoning
Crushed red pepper
1 small onion, finely diced
3 cloves of garlic finely diced
1 can sliced mushrooms
For the bake:
Panko bread crumbs
Parmesan Cheese (or any Italian blend)
Here we go.....
First of all, I don't like onions, therefore I chop them very finely because I don't want to bite into one. If you're a bigger fan of onion, feel free to chop them more coarsely. Either way, this next step is CRUCIAL:
In the saucepan you plan to simmer your sauce in, heat a couple of teaspoons of olive oil. Saute onions until transparent. Add garlic and saute for another 45 seconds to a minute.
Next add 1 large can of whole peeled tomatoes and 1-8oz can of crushed tomatoes. Use a potato masher to chop up the tomatoes.
Next add 1 teaspoon of salt, a couple turns of freshly ground pepper, 1 TBSP Cavender's seasoning, 1 TBSP Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon of splenda (or other sweetener of your choice), 1 pinch of crushed red pepper, zucchini and mushrooms. Feel free to adjust these quantities based on your personal tastes/preferences.
Let sauce simmer for 30 minutes on low heat.
Mix sauce in with pasta.
Next pour into baking dish and top lightly with breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Bake at 400 degrees until golden brown on top.
Now if you need to transport this dish....let the pasta and sauce cool in refrigerator. Right before leaving, top with breadcrumbs and cheese. Now just deliver with baking instructions.