Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Make Ahead Meals- Baked Penne

Baked pasta dishes are so easy to make in advance. I'm sure it'd be just as easy to just have pasta and sauce for a quick weeknight meal, but there's something extra rich and comforting about baked pasta.

Tonight we're having gluten-free baked penne with tofu ricotta. Here it is before baking:

It's super easy! First, cook up your gluten free pasta. I used Tinkyada brand GF pasta in a penne shape, but any type would work.

Then prepare a batch of tofu ricotta. You can use the recipe from Veganomicon or just wing it. I just threw a few cloves of garlic, a block of firm tofu, lemon juice, salt and parsley in the food processor.

Before you strain the pasta, pack a bunch of baby spinach in the strainer. Then it'll partially cook while you strain your hot pasta through it.

Then mix everything together (ricotta, spinach, pasta) in a big glass baking dish.

Top with 2-3 cups of tomato sauce (I used some home-canned sauce) and some fresh tomatoes if you have them around still. My green ones from the garden are slowly ripening and I had enough to top this dish. I think I'll add some grated cashew cheese just before baking it tonight. Anyways, put this in the fridge until you're ready to bake it.

Bake at 350F, covered in foil, for about 20-30 minutes or until warmed through. If topping with cheeze, just finish in the broiler for a minute or two to melt it.


Bonnie said...

This is an excellent idea for times when you need a quick and delicious meal, and I don't use it nearly as often as I should!
Your baked pasta dish looks especially great with the tofu ricotta and fresh tomatoes... yummy!

jessy said...

you are too awesome, Liz! i can't belive i never thought to make something like this before - there really is something super comforting about baked pasta. dan & i adore tinkyada's brown rice pasta & we have bunch of basil we need to harvest before it frosts that we can use in the tofu ricotta. mmmmmmmmm! thanks for such a deeeeelicious idea!

For the Love of Guava said...

ooh... such a good idea for the spinach... that looks so good! YAY for casserole weather!