Ava's Baked Penne

I wanted something different for dinner tonight.  Something with lots of flavor and satisfying.  But with tomorrow being grocery day, we're a bit limited on what we have to work with.
So I decided we'd do baked penne!  Last time we did a gluten-free run, Mischief picked out penne Tinkyada pasta.  Thanks to Juli for the tip that Tinkyada brand works great for baked pasta! So here is our quick and (sort of) cheap gluten-free baked penne.  Named after the gluten-free kid of course. I couldn't get a good picture of it, but it's very yummy and did hit the spot!

Ava's Baked Penne
1 bag Tinkyada brown rice penne, cooked according to package
1 jar chunky Ragu garden combination pasta sauce
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1 8oz block of cream cheese
1/2 lb. ground beef or sausage, cooked, drained and crumbled
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

While the pasta is cooking, stick the block of cream cheese in a bowl, pour the pasta sauce over it, stick a microwave safe lid on (we use glass pyrex microwavable bowls) and microwave it for 4 minutes.  Once it's done, stir it up until the cream cheese is pretty much melted into the sauce.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray a 9x13 inch baking pan with oil spray.  Pour in half the sauce and be sure it covers the bottom.  Put in the cooked, drained pasta.  Evenly layer the meat over the pasta.  Pour the remaining sauce over, being sure to coat everything, if it doesn't work, then feel free to stir it around so everything is sauced up.  Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Mischief even ate her serving.  That's a rare event.  I actually put ours in 2 8x8 pans and am going to freeze one unbaked.  We'll see if it works or turns to mush (though it will be tasty mush).

We actually used leftover chicken for the meat, and it's alright, I wouldn't do it again though.  It'd be better with beef or sausage, which is why I put those in our recipe.


sleepless said…
It sounds delicious..good for you figuring this game out !!! I am impressed Abby !
Juli said…
YUM-MY! It shouldn't turn to mush.... it really is the only pasta that holds up. The only time I've had an issue was when I over cooked it in WAY too little water. The rice starch took over.

I'm going to have to do this, and I think we even have everything. :)
Burnham's said…
It shouldnt be mushy. I freeze and reheat tinkyada all the time. though usually it has been baked when we do it. I dont see how it would be much different though.
Emily Robertson said…
Yummers!!!! Thanks for sharing your recipes =)

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