But we're not talking about lasagna today. No sir. We are talking about it's cousin, no boil penne from Plain Chicken. Yes. You read that right. NO BOIL. It's a pasta revolution!
A time saving revolution. Just dump everything into your casserole dish and wham...awesome!
Now I feel it is my duty to the world to explain a few things. First, your Penne dish will look like this when it comes out of the oven:
This is what the dish looks like after things have cooled off a bit:
And since I can't serve Italian food without bread, (it's the law you know, ) I made some cheesey bread too.
I found two nearly identical recipes for cheesy bread. One was pizza blanco from Everybody Likes Sandwiches and the other was cheesy breadsticks from Real Mom Kitchen. The only real difference is one gets baked at 500 for 10 minutes, and the other at 400 for 20 minutes.
Before the oven!
And Post baking goodness:
The cheesy bread made the perfect side dish to the no boil penne. Blockette went totally gaga over both of them. Particularly the cheese bread. This is one of the things that makes me know she truly my child...her love of cheese. Girl cannot get herself enough cheese, especially Parmesan, but that's a whole 'nother story.
One more thing, the cheesy bread recipe makes enough for two crusts. I didn't want two whole pizza thingies. I guessed, and correctly, that the bread would be it's most awesome right out of the oven. So I took the unused half of bread dough and put it in a non airtight container in the fridge. It's important that your container is NOT airtight. You want the dough to be able to breathe a bit in there!
So I let my dough sit in the fridge for two days, when we were having the no boil penne leftovers. My intentions were to let the leftover dough sit out for an hour before making it. Nope. I totally spaced out. At 5:00 I yelped, "Oh no! I forgot to take the bread out." (This was particularly confusing to my friend who I was on the phone with at the time and it didn't quite make since with the flow of our conversation.)
Anyhow, I rolled that dough out, popped it in the oven and hoped for the best. Well wouldn't you know it, it was the best. Turned out every bit as yummy as it's fresh twin.
No Boil Baked Penne from Plain Chicken
1 jar pasta sauce (26oz)
1 1/2 cups water
15 oz ricotta (I used small curd cottage cheese)
2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 lb sausage, cooked and crumbled
8 oz uncooked penne (This is half a box)
Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly grease 9x13 pan; set aside. Combine sauce, water, ricotta 1 c mozzarella, sausage, parmesan and penne. Pour into 9x13 pan and cover with foil. Bake 55 min. Remove foil and top with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake 5-10 min, til bubbly. Let cook for 15-20 min.
Cheesy Garlic Breadsticks from Real Mom Kitchen
1/2 recipe Basic Pizza Dough (see below)
2 tablespoons softened butter
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
dried parsley, optional
Preheat oven to 500 F. In small bowl, mix butter and garlic, set aside. Roll dough out into a 12" circle on parchment paper. Spread butter and garlic mix over dough. Sprinkle with parmesan followed by mozzarella cheeses. Transfer parchment and dough to pizza stone or baking sheet. Bake 9-10 min.
Use a pizza cutter and cut into stick shapes. Sprinkle with a little dried parsley if desired.
Basic Pizza Dough from Real Mom Kitchen (makes two crusts)
1 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey or sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive
2-3 cups bread flour
In bowl of stand mixer, add yeast, honey, and warm water. Give it a stir and let sit for 5-10 min til bubbly and foamy. Add salt, oil and 1 1/2 c flour. Mix using dough hook. Once combined, add additional flour 1/2 c at a time til slightly tacky, but doesn’t stick to hands. Turn on medium to knead for 6 min. The side of bowl should be clean and dough should be smooth. Remove dough from bowl. Spray bowl with Pam. Add dough back to bowl and turn once to get both sides coated with spray.
Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for 1-2 hrs. Divide dough in half. Roll each half out into a 12 inch circle on a piece of parchment paper. Top as desired.
P.S. This post was written on 3 hours of sleep. I hope you enjoyed your journey down the madness of my sleep deprived brain. Thanks for visiting!