Thursday, October 29, 2009

Three Cheese Chicken Penne Pasta Bake

Try saying that title three times fast without spitting on someone!

First off, this recipe is good! It's so good I'm having it for breakfast today. Say what you will about what breakfast foods are supposed to be, but it's good food and I'm hungry so there you go.

I only changed a couple of things with this recipe. My spinach bag was slightly smaller than called for (trust me, you'll get plenty of spinach anyway), I used a (drained) can of diced tomatoes that had italian flavouring, I used italian seasoning instead of the basil because the only basil I own is in a tube instead of dried, I chose a mushroom and garlic pasta sauce, and neither my cream cheese nor my parmesan cheese were of the "light" variety. Oh, the horror!

The pasta/spinach combination is a little tricky to drain well, but you'll get a nice spinach facial if you stick your head over the colander. The water is a fun green too. Mine probably still had some water in it which might account for the slightly runny sauce at the end.

Don't forget to preheat the oven. I was distracted by phone calls so I had some waiting to do when I finally remembered to turn the oven on. We all know how much I enjoy waiting. The last couple of pasta recipes I've made, I didn't cook the pasta right away because then it sits around congealing and getting cold. This time, cook the pasta first like they tell you to because the sauce won't take very long.

My baking dish ended up very full so don't be alarmed if that happens to you as well. Beware that the dish will still be bubbling away if, at the end of the oven time, you turn the oven off and try to go for a run. Better take it out and cover it with aluminum foil instead. You don't want to come back to a dessicated carcass that used to smell and look really good. The aluminum foil idea (if you're not eating right away) is a good one, but it may allow some extra moisture to accumulate in your dish. Not earth-shattering, just something to keep in mind.

And by the way, running in fall leaves is a lot of fun. It sounds and smells good, just like this recipe :)

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