1.23.2012

Three-Cheese Pasta Bake

My dad was diagnosed with acid reflux disease a little less than a year ago. Since then, my mom has had to make lots of changes to his diet. This has ultimately resulted in changes to the rest of our diets as well. As generous as my mom is, she just can't spoil us all the time. Making two different kinds of meals, one for us and one for him, gets pretty annoying, not to mention, is very time-consuming. She does her best to find a happy medium, but it can be difficult at times with picky eaters like my siblings and I. To make life easier for her, I often contribute/cook yummy looking, acid-reflux safe recipes that I find online; this three cheese pasta bake being one of them.

First off, let me just say that I had tortellini Alfredo for the first time ever at a wedding last month and I don't know how I have lived before it. It took pasta to a whole new level for me, a level that I didn't even know existed. So you could probably imagine how excited I was when I saw that this recipe called for Alfredo sauce.

Unfortunately, that excitement only lasted until I opened up the jar of Alfredo sauce that I bought, after which I was hit in the face with a gross, funky smell that nearly made me reconsider making this dish. Yes, it was that bad. Apparently, I'm not the only one who thinks jarred Alfredo sauce smells horrible--I did some research online, you know, after I scarred my nose for life (figuratively speaking).

Thankfully, after conducting a taste test, I realized that the sauce didn't actually taste as bad as it smelled. So I carried on, hoping nobody else in the house would catch a whiff. Of course, the smell ended up emanating throughout the kitchen when the pasta was baking anyway, but surprisingly, nobody really seemed to mind. In fact, everyone unhesitatingly tried the pasta and thought it was really good! I thought it was going to be heavy, because of all the cheese, sour cream, and the sauce, but it was actually really light and the flavors were nice and subtle, which I liked. I also really liked the crispy mozzarella topping; it was the perfect contrast to the pasta.


Online reviews of this pasta bake say that it is bland, and I kind of see where they're coming from, but I wouldn't say that it is bland in a bad way. Sometimes, there is beauty in simplicity, and the fact that there aren't any overpowering flavors in this dish makes it very comforting, and perfect for the chilly weather we've been having.

Three-Cheese Pasta Bake

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Ingredients:

Half a (16-ounce) package penne pasta
One (10-ounce) jar refrigerated Alfredo sauce
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/8 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 cup chopped fresh parsley
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


Directions:

Prepare penne according to package directions; drain and return to pot.

Stir together Alfredo sauce and sour cream; toss with penne until evenly coated. Spoon half of mixture into a lightly greased 11x 7 inch baking dish.

Stir together ricotta cheese, egg, Parmesan cheese, and chopped parsley. Spread evenly over pasta mixture in baking dish. Spoon remaining pasta mixture evenly over ricotta cheese layer.

Sprinkle evenly with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350°  degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Adapted from MyRecipes

1 comment:

  1. Levitation is for SissiesJanuary 27, 2012 at 2:30 AM

    MashaAllah! Another beautiful addition to the blog!

    I have a request: grilling meat--especially campfire cooking! Yes? No?

    ReplyDelete

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