Four Cheese Baked Penne

This is definitely one of those, 'It's 5pm & I have nothing planned for dinner! Quick, what's in the pantry?!?' kind of meals. It's similar to lasagna, except easier. I bet you have all the ingredients in your refrigerator & pantry to make this tonight!
(For the Marinara Sauce)
1- 28oz can Petite Diced Tomatoes
1 small Yellow Onion, chopped
4 Garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsp dried, Italian Seasonings
1 tsp dried, Garlic Powder
1 tsp fresh, Parsley, chopped
1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
1 cup starchy pasta water
(For the Cheese Mixture)
1- 15 oz container of Ricotta Cheese
1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, shredded
1 1/2 tsp Mrs Dash Garlic & Herb Seasoning
1 tsp fresh Parsley, chopped
6 deli, sliced, pieces of Provolone Cheese
3/4 lb Penne Pasta

Start with making the Marinara Sauce. Sure, you could probably buy a jarred sauce & use that instead...but why would you? Is opening a jar that much easier that opening a can? Because the only other 'work' is to chop 1 tiny onion & 4 little cloves of garlic. And in exchange you get a much healthier sauce that you have you can customize to your liking!! It's this easy- Saute the chopped onion in about 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil over medium/ high heat. When the onion becomes soft, add the chopped garlic & continue to cook 1-2 minutes. Then add the canned tomatoes (with all the juices) & stir to combine. Add in all the seasonings & reduce the heat. Simmer on low while you get the rest of the ingredients together. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees & start your water to cook your pasta. While the oven is heating & the water is coming to a boil, make the cheese mixture. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, mozzarella, & parmesan cheeses with the garlic & herb seasoning & the chopped parsley. Set aside.
Cook the pasta according to the package directions, making sure to cook slightly al dente'. They will continue to cook more in the oven. Just before you drain the pasta, scoop out about 1 cup of the water & add that to your marinara sauce. Stir to incorporate. Taste to adjust seasonings, add more if you need to. Then add the fresh, chopped parsley & set aside.
After you Drain your pasta, add it to the cheese mixture & stir until blended. Set aside. Then set up your assembly line like this: 9x13 casserole dish (sprayed with cooking spray), marinara sauce, cheese mixture, provolone cheese.
To the bottom of the greased casserole dish, spoon in just under half of the marinara sauce, evenly coating the bottom. Then add all of the pasta & cheese mixture. Pour the rest of the marinara on top of the pasta. Top with the six slices of provolone cheese. It should look like this:
Cover with tinfoil. (Be careful not to touch the cheese with the tinfoil or it will melt to it!) Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil & bake for 10-15 minutes longer to brown.
I usually serve this with a Casear or a Vinaigrette dressed green salad. Not bad for a last minute, week day meal. Huh?!? The best part, this makes a lot so you will have left overs for lunches or another night that you don't have time to cook!

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