penne pasta bake

A few months ago I went to Olive Garden and got the Five Cheese Ziti al Forno. It was SO good! It has a sauce that tasted like 1/2 alfredo, 1/2 marinara on ziti noodles topped with cheese. But I got to thinking and decided that I was pretty sure I could make it! And I must say, my replica is pretty good!

Penne Pasta Bake
by Alyssa Cundy

2 tbsp. butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated parmesan
12 oz. marinara sauce (I used Prego)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 lb. penne pasta
Fresh basil for garnish

Cook the pasta as directed. Strain and set aside. Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute just until you can smell it, but not brown. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Gradually add the cream and whisk until mixture begins to thicken and bubble. Add the parmesan until melted. Finally add the marinara and stir until bubbly.

Toss the penne noodles in the marinara/alfredo sauce mixture. Pour into a greased 11x7 baking dish. Top pasta with mozzarella cheese and cover with aluminum foil. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Garnish with basil just before serving.

If you love pasta like I do, you definitely need to make this recipe. It is a creamy, tomato-y, cheesy plate of goodness! All that is missing is a salad topped with some croutons (my FAVORITE food) and buttermilk ranch dressing :)



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