My mom had a total knee replacement last week, and she is recovering well at home.
What does that have to do with this week's post? Well I needed to make something that would be a quick, tasty dinner for my family, but also something that I could easily transport to my parents house. I also wanted it to be a "one dish meal" that had a nice balance of greens, protein, and carbs. This weeks BAKED PENNE TRICOLORE definitely fits the bill! I simply doubled the recipe. Plus, you can reheat the leftovers in a snap, for a nice hot lunch. If you want to add a tossed salad and dinner rolls you can, but the beauty of this little number is that is stands very well on it's own. Enjoy! If you try it, let me know how it turns out! (P.S. look down below for the "3 cheats" I did to make this quick and easy!
BAKED PENNE TRICOLORE
1- 15oz can of Cream of Tomato soup (I used Amy's Organic)
1 1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 pound penne pasta (ziti is fine, too) cooked until just "al dente". No longer!
1 small package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
1 1/2 cups shredded provolone cheese
8 slices cooked bacon, cut into small pieces
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2.5 qt baking dish (approx 9 x 13in.) with nonstick spray.
Heat soup and milk in a medium saucepan until hot. Add melted butter and flour and stir well. Continue stirring and whisking until thick and smooth, about 4 minutes.
In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta with the sauce. Then add spinach, roasted peppers, salt and pepper, provolone cheese, and half of the Parmesan cheese. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Transfer mixture to prepared dish, then sprinkle the top evenly with bacon and remaining Parmesan cheese.
Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Then broil on HI for 1-2 minutes, so the top gets a little bit crispy. (Keep your eye on it, though.) Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
MY 3 CHEATS:
1. I purchased prepackaged, precooked bacon. I just had to cut it up. (so good)
2. I used jarred roasted peppers. I always do!!
3. I baked it in disposable tin pans, so there was no pan to wash at my house, or at Mom's. What's better than that??