Monday, December 19, 2011

Baked Penne Pasta with Garlic Bread and Salad

Yes, I can cook. Believe it or not!

photo by: Romulo Yanes)
Every Sunday after church, I have my family over to my house for Sunday lunch and sometimes supper.Yesterday was special because a few people from church came over. I kept on debating about what to make because I usually make a carmel/pecan chicken (It sounds nasty, but it is the best thing you will ever put in your mouth) and grilled asparagus. Because it is winter time, I had to buy frozen asparagus. Unfortunately, one of our guests is allergic to nuts and the other refuses to eat anything green.

Last Saturday, I was picking up some gifts for Christmas from my mom's house, and I saw a cookbook that looked like all of the Harry Potter books combined. I flipped it open, and it landed on a beautiful picture of, yes you guessed it, baked penne pasta. I remembered that I had a package of homemade garlic bread that a lady at church sold, and I could make a great salad with spinach, mandarin oranges, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and a homemade vinaigrette.
Photo by: SunnyByrd

My mother lives in a quite subdivision near the university, and I live on the outskirts of town in a huge subdivision with oversized houses and a lake. I hated it at first because I felt like a soccer mom in my 20's, but I've grown used to it. Luckily, on the drive back from her house, there is a Kroger. I dashed into Kroger (it was 9 P.M.), grabbed all of the necessary ingredients. Dashed home, threw together the pasta, and put it in the fridge. Everything was ready for our afternoon meal. Cole, my husband, could put it on right when we got home as I tossed the salad. GREAT!

Here's the recipe (I edited it because the real recipe insisted you make your own pasta!):

Preheat the oven to 425.

Bring water to a boil, and pour in your penne pasta.*Think about how many people you are serving. I used two boxes because of the large amount of people. If you are just serving one, used two cups. I'd say two cups of pasta per person. Only boil your pasta about 3/4 of the way through. You'll know it's ready to bake when you taste it and it still has just a little toughness to it.

Use a big bowl for this next step. Combine all of your favorite cheeses, also based on how many people you are serving. It doesn't matter what cheeses you use, just make sure you have 1 cup of milk per 3 people you are serving, 1 package of cream cheese (unless you are serving one, then just half a package), and 1 stick of butter.

This is a great way to clear out your fridge!

Next, pour your pasta into a casserole pan for less people, but a "brownie-making" pan for more people. A brownie-making pan is a pan in which you would make brownies. Bake in the oven at 425 for 12 minutes, if you want it "browner" or "well-done", you can cook it longer.

The Grove Salad recipe: Toss the pasta ingredients listed above together in a bowl, and use your favorite fruit-flavored (like raspberry vinaigrette) salad dressing.

Serve to your family!
Kaye Dacus


Love, Meri V

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