This Baked Pasta Casserole is hearty, satisfying, and easy to prepare. Always a family favorite. Inexpensive and easy for weeknights.
Add a green salad and some crusty bread for a complete meal.
Casseroles are one of America’s most popular comfort foods, they can feed a crowd and be prepared in advance for entertaining.
My secret is to cook the pasta al dente so the pasta retains its texture after baking.
Make a baked pasta dish recipe that’s sure to satisfy the hunger of friends and family alike. Baked Italian recipes are great for hearty one-dish dinners or on-the-go casserole for potluck.
The recipe for the marinara sauce makes enough for several meals.
The recipe makes 12 cups. Store in the freezer.
You can also use store-bought marinara sauce.
Adapted from COOKING LIGHT MAGAZINE.
- 6 ounces uncooked whole wheat penne
- 2 cups Basic Marinara, homemade or store-bought
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
- ¼ cup (1 ounce) shredded parmesan, divided
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
- 6 ounces ground turkey breast
- Cooking spray
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cups chopped yellow onion (about 3 medium)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic (about 6 cloves)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1½ teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
- 3 (28-ounce) cans no-salt-added crushed tomatoes
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.
- Combine pasta, Basic Marinara, ½ cup mozzarella, 2 tablespoons parmesan, salt, pepper sauce, and turkey in a large bowl. Spoon into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with remaining ½ cup mozzarella and remaining 2 tablespoons Asiago. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
- Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion to pan; cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add sugar and next 6 ingredients (through fennel seeds); cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in vinegar; cook 30 seconds. Add broth and tomatoes; bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat for 55 minutes or until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally.