Creamy Caprese Pasta
1 pound whole wheat penne pasta
1 1/2 cup of your pasta/tomato sauce
1/3 cup half and half
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese + more for garnish
6 ounces fresh mozzarella, (4 cut in cubs & 2 sliced to top the pasta)
1 pint of grape tomatoes halved (I thought it looked like a lot but it was the perfect amount)
1 bunch of fresh basil leaves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Boil water and cook pasta until a little al dente (it will cook the rest of the way in the oven & will soak up some of the pasta sauce so its not too "watery" when finished cooking).
While pasta is cooking, heat tomato sauce over low heat in a large saucepan. Once warm, stir in cream and grated parmesan. Once pasta is done cooking, drain and dump into the sauce, mixing to coat and turning off heat. Fold in mozzarella cubes and tomatoes, then chop 3-4 fresh basil leaves and add them in too. Once combined, spray a baking dish with non-stick spray (I used a 9x13) and pour the entire pasta mixture into the dish. Top with fresh mozzarella rounds. Bake for 25 minutes, or until cheese is golden and bubbly (you can broil at the last second if desired, but make sure to watch).
Top with additional fresh basil and grated cheese. Serve with garlic bread (or parmesan knots!). You can also add in chicken for protein if you wish.
|caprese salad time!|
|making the creamy sauce|
|i would suggest making the pasta in a larger pan than you would normally, once you add everything in it will be really full|