Friday, April 27, 2012

Baked Tomato Pasta

One of the meals I so miss since we went heart-healthy is my homemade mac n cheese.  I don't think I'd go and just eat a chunk of cheese anymore (my taste buds have indeed changed to the point where it isn't even a temptation), but melted extra sharp white cheddar with noodles...oh yeah, baby, I'll take some of that!  Or the spinach artichoke version...yeah...I'll take a scoop of that one, too, please.

But given the fact we don't eat very much dairy, homemade goodness in the form of mac n cheese is a rare treat indeed.  Which is sad, since it was my #1 comfort food.  Thick and creamy and scrumptious.  Mmm...

Well, I think I just found my replacement meal.  It's not cheesy at all, nor is it supposed to be.  But it is thick and creamy and scrumptious in a different, more tomato-y way.  (WARNING: If you do not like tomato, don't even touch this recipe.)  The best part?  It's so simple!  I thought I had misread the directions or something when I made it, or thought the magazine had left out a step or something, but no.  It really is that easy.

Originally a Giada recipe, I felt it was a little too simple, so in Sarah-style, I spruced it up just a tad.  If you try it, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!  (This is very kid friendly, too!) I served this with a protein packed bean/corn salad, broccoli, and a green salad.

Baked Tomato Pasta
Serves 4-6
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 t minced garlic
  • 2 cups (8oz) small pasta.  I used whole grain penne.
  • 3 T Olive Oil (divided)
  • 1 T dry oregano
  • 1 T dry basil
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 5 beef steak tomatoes or 10 romas - sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 T Panko (opt)
  • 1 T nutritional yeast (opt)
-- Slice your tomatoes first or else you'll be caught needing them before you know it!
-- Combine tomatoes, broth, garlic in a sauce pan.  Bring to a boil.
-- While you're waiting for that to boil, grease an 8x8 baking dish and then line the bottom and sides with 1/2 to 1/3 of the tomato slices
-- Once the sauce boils, add noodles, 2 T olive oil and spices. Stir for a couple minutes.
-- Pour sauce/noodles into the baking dish.  (The noodles won't be cooked at this point, just warm)
-- Place remaining tomato slices on top of noodles and sauce.
-- Sprinkle nutritional yeast and Panko on top if you're using
-- Bake uncovered for 30 minutes @ 450  (you may want to use a baking sheet under the pan to catch anything that drips out!)


  1. Looks so yummy! Do you cook the pasta on its own before adding it to the sauce, or put it in uncooked?

    1. Great questions!! I was a little confused by that, too, but you do put it in uncooked and then the pasta cooks int he sauce in the oven. It comes together very fast -- enjoy!