Baked Pasta

As I keep saying over and again, I am married to the only man in the Universe who would eat spaghetti every meal for the rest of all time and be totally happy.

And while I am happy to make it lots, at times I want something a little different.  So, baked pasta seemed like a good compromise.

Baked Pasta with chicken

Baked Pasta – Martha Stewart basis with my own changes

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 pound store-bought frozen tortellini
  • 1 pound dried pasta
  • 4 chicken breasts – cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and season with salt and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add thyme and tomatoes.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, breaking up tomatoes with spoon, until sauce is thickened and reduced to about 5 1/2 cups, 20 to 25 minutes.

Brown chicken and set to side.

Meanwhile, cook tortellini and dried pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water for literally two minutes (pasta will continue to cook in oven). Drain pasta; return to pot.

Toss sauce with pasta and chicken. Pour pasta into a large gratin dish or 9-by-13-inch baking dish, and sprinkle with cheeses.

Bake until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.

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