Bell Pepper Mushroom Baked Penne

Posted by francis keyser Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Taste Level: G
Cost: $20 and under
Serves: 4
Prep Time: 20-25 min.
Cook time: 40-45 min.
Difficulty: 1

We had some left over pasta that needed eating or did it? I mean does pasta go bad? It has never lasted long enough in our home for me to find out. I suppose it would mold like any other food. Anyway it had been in the refrigerator for 3-4 days and in my book that means it is about to go bad, so I tossed together to make this Baked Penne. The funny thing about this bake is that it tasted a lot like a vegetable pizza. I lowered the taste score of this recipe because of it. Not because it was not good, it was and I had it for lunch the next day. It just tasted like a pizza should taste, not like a bake should taste. I even debated about calling it Pizza Penne. If you have kids that love pizza and are refusing to eat anything else give this recipe a try, even calling it Pizza Penne to trick them into eating something new! Or if you really like Pizza (and who but my mother doesn't) whip yourself up this meal!

Ingredients:
Penne
2 1/2 cups Wheat penne pasta
8 oz fresh mozzarella (sliced)
1/3 cup extra sharp white cheddar (sliced)
1/2 cup Merlot olives (diced, green olives can be substituted)
fresh crack pepper (to taste)

Sauce
1 14.5 oz can fire-roasted tomatoes
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 cup red onion (chopped)
1/2 red bell pepper (chopped)
1/2 yellow bell pepper (chopped)
1/2 orange bell pepper (chopped)
4 0z baby Bella mushrooms (sliced)
4 oz button mushrooms (sliced)
1 1/4 tsp fresh oregano (diced)
1 1/4 tsp fresh basil (diced)
1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
fresh crack pepper (to taste)

Sauce
Heat olive oil in small sauce pan over medium heat. Add onion and mushrooms and cook for 5 min, then add the rest of the ingredients and bring to simmer stirring frequently. Let simmer 10-15 minutes.

Penne
Cook pasta according to directions until al dente. Pour into a colander to drain, then run cold water over pasta until it can be handled easily.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Pour sauce into a large mixing bowl and then toss in the penne until mixed together well. Add half of the mixture to a baking dish. Now add in 1/3 of the mozzarella, then cover with the rest of the mixture. Top with remaining mozzarella, then cheddar and finally olives.

Place baking dish into oven on the upper most rack and bake uncovered for 40-45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before serving!

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