Friday, May 11, 2012

Three Cheese Baked Penne Rigate with Spinach

I was exploring google play on my Logitech Revue and found an app for Kraft foods. After I downloaded the app, I found out that it contained a lot of videos of recipes and cooking demo. In one of the video, I found a recipe for three cheese baked penne which got my attention so I played it and found myself drawn to how tasty the dish looked and how easy its preparation was. Before long, I was on my way to the grocery store buying the things I need for the dish. I modified it though to fit my taste and preference. I used Italian sausage instead of chicken as I am not really too fond of eating it. I also added a little sugar to sweeten it a little. What can I say? blame it on my Filipino palate that is more used to easing a sweeter version of Spaghetti as opposed to the original Italian version :) Nonetheless, you can skip adding the sugar if you wish.

The preparation was a breeze as well as the cooking and baking process. And soon I was able to taste it - my verdict: It's a keeper for me. An easy to prepare dish which can be easily multiplied to serve for an impromptu get-together or unplanned entertaining. By using store bought spaghetti sauce, you save a lot of cooking time. Of course, you are also free to make your own from scratch. Personally, I do prefer to make my own spaghetti sauce according to my preference but this time around I used the store bought variety.


 2 cups Penne Rigate
 24 oz bottle of Spaghetti Sauce
 1/2 Lb Italian sausage, boiled and sliced thinly
 1 1/2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
 1 small onion, chopped
 1/2 cup evaporated milk sugar to taste (optional)
 1/2 cup sliced portabello mushroom, sliced thinly
 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
 1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano

1. Boil penne according to manufacturer's instruction. Once penne is cooked, add spinach and cook until the spinach welt slightly then drain. Discard liquid.

 2. In a sauce pan, saute onions and italian sausage. Saute until onion is translucent then add mushroom. Saute for a couple of minutes.

 3. Add spaghetti sauce and simmer until mushroom is cooked.

 4. Mix in milk, cheddar cheese, and sugar (to taste). Simmer for 2-3 minutes then add the drained pasta. Mix well

 5. Add half of the mozzarella and mix thoroughly.

 6. Transfer to an oven-proof dish and cover with aluminum foil that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.

 7. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes then remove the cover and bake for another 5-10 minuted until top browns slightly.

 8. Remove from heat and let it cool a little bit before serving.

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