Baked Penne with Meat Sauce and Smoked Mozzarella
Baked Penne with Meat Sauce and Smoked Mozzarella is penne pasta cooked al dente and smothered in a meat sauce with red wine and mushrooms, layered with grated smoked mozzarella cheese and baked until golden, cheesy perfection.
I like spaghetti, but it’s no baked pasta. Baked pasta is where it’s at, with that golden brown, slightly crispy pasta, with all that melted, cheesy goodness. My kids had boycotted spaghetti some time back, so I took a break from it until I made my Meat Sauce with Red Wine and Mushrooms for the first time many months ago. I thought there was a way to get them to enjoy spaghetti sauce again, and I figured a baked pasta had to be the way to go. They totally dug it, and I’ve made it so many times since to the same reaction. I mean, what’s not to love? 😉
I love whipping up a batch of my pasta sauce and freezing half. It’s like liquid gold on busy weeknights, and I can just thaw it out, boil pasta, mix it together and layer it with grated smoked mozzarella cheese. The combination of this delicious sauce with that smokey cheese is irresistible, even to my kids. That’s really sayin’ somethin’. 🙂
If you already have the sauce on hand, this meal comes together so quickly. Whip up a batch on the weekend, and you’ll be oh-so-glad that you did. I split it into two servings, and with a family of 4, we still have leftovers. Simply mix half the sauce with half a box of al dente pasta, and layer it in your baking dish.
Half of the pasta and cheese for the bottom layer, and half for the top layer.
Easy, cheesy, right? 🙂 That joke was actually quite cheesy.
I’m so excited to be able to make pasta again that my kids aren’t going to complain about. We all need our staple meals that please everybody, and this dish here is just that. Satisfaction guaranteed. 🙂
- ½ batch of Meat Sauce with Red Wine and Mushrooms.
- ½ box (6.5 ounces) penne pasta, cooked to al dente (I used Barilla whole grain penne)
- 1½ cups smoked mozzarella cheese, grated*
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8x8" baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Mix the meat sauce with the penne in a large bowl. Pour half of the pasta mixture in the prepared pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle with half of the grated cheese, and repeat with another layer of pasta and the remaining cheese. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
I like my pasta saucy, so use as much sauce to pasta according to your personal preferences.
If you want a double batch, simply use the whole batch of sauce with the entire box of pasta, and of course, double the cheese. 🙂
Recipe by Flavor the Moments.