Every month I have to work one week of night shift, as in all night! It's all good until about 3:00 AM, that's when I turn into a walking zombie--Good thing I don't really have to interact with people. So last week on night shift--It was about 4:00 AM, I was reading blogs(My Kind of Cooking), I saw this recipe--wait. Linda forgot to say cook the pasta, HA I found a typo--wait, I can't even find my own typos. So I read it again, and sure enough--you don't cook the pasta first.
I love any kind of baked pasta, but after I make it the kitchen is a mess. Pasta pot, sauce pot, and baking dish in the sink waiting to be washed--Not to mention salad bowls, plates--so the idea of a one dish baked pasta, sounds genius. But does it work?
Last week I tried it--my mom was the guinea pig. We were sitting at the kitchen table, I told her I was afraid the recipe I had in the oven was not going to work, she agreed. To both of our surprise--It worked! The pasta was cooked! Linda, I'm sorry for doubting your recipe.
Now this is not a gourmet meal, certainly I wouldn't serve it if Mario Batali was coming for dinner(no, I don't really know Mario Batali)--but if your looking for something you can throw together, that's easy with hardly any clean up, it's perfect.
Last night I was feeling lazy, and wanted to make something easy, so I made it again.
Pay close attention!
Dump uncooked pasta in a baking dish and pour sauce on top.
Pour 1 and 1/2 cup water over the sauce.
I pour it into the pasta jars first to get the last bit of sauce out.
Top with the meatballs; cover and bake about 1 hour.
Top with the cheese, bake for 15 more minutes.
One-Dish Baked Pasta with Meatballsadapted from My Kind of Cooking
1- 1lb box rigatoni
2- 24 oz jars pasta sauce
1 & 1/2 cups water
1- 12 oz package fully cooked meatballs, thawed
1- 8 oz package shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the uncooked pasta in the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish. Pour both jars of pasta sauce over the pasta, making sure to cover all the pasta. Then pour the water over the pasta sauce. Top with the meatballs; cover with foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove from the oven, top with the cheese; bake uncovered for 15 minutes.
Note: The original recipe was baked for 45 minutes, the top with the cheese and bake for 15 more minutes. I prefer my pasta to have a softer texture so I increased the first baking time to 1 hour.