I have to be very honest and tell you that I am not a huge pasta fan. I don’t know why but I’m just not. Olive Garden happens to be one of my top 5 favorite restaurants though. Go figure. I’ll never figure myself out.
Anyway, somehow I love this dish. It satisfies me, fills me up and makes me want a second serving. So in my case that’s a good pasta dish. Doesn’t happen very often for me. Please don’t ask how many servings of this I did eat. I will not want to tell you the truth. *smile* So this one is definitely a keeper. It oozes with cheese. Has all the delicious flavor of tomato. The basil just kicks it up a notch.
This dish is made easy with the Lodge 12 inch Skillet, if you want to know what’s pictured. I use it for many other things too. These include deep dish pizza, dutch babies, cobbler and it’s perfect for cooking over the fire while camping.
The cassarecce pasta in this dish was absolutely delightful. I had never bought cassarecce before but I was visiting a local outlet store and found a good name brand for $.79. You can beat that. I think bought about 8 of them. You know what I’ll be making with the other bags, right? Or maybe I’ll continue to be creative and come up with another dish I love. I’m thinking ricotta this time. If you can’t find cassarecce penne, ziti or rotini would all work well too.
The next time you’re in the mood for comfort food give this dish a try. You won’t regret it.
Love and blessings,
- 1 lb pasta such as casarecce
- 1½ - 2 Tablespoon olive oil
- ½ small onion, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ cup fresh basil, finely chopped
- 16 oz tomato puree
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 8 oz mozzarella cheese, freshly shredded
- In a large sauce pan, boil water and cook pasta until al dente according to package directions. Set aside
- Meanwhile ,in a oven proof skillet ( I used my Lodge cast iron. see link above), heat oil over medium heat. Add onion. Saute onion about 5-6 minutes or until translucent. Add salt, pepper, basil and tomato puree. Cook until heated through stirring occasionally.
- Heat oven to broil.
- Add garlic to tomato puree mixture, cook 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat. Stir in pasta.
- Sprinkle cheese on top. Place under broiler for 5-10 minutes. This will depend on your broiler and how dark you want your cheese..
- Remove from oven. Serve immediately with delicious garlic bread and a salad.
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