Speedy Tomato Pasta Bake
- serves 4-6
Tomato and pasta is only the beginning! This dish also features bacon, baby spinach, sweet potato and three kinds of cheese.
1 454 g package of penne or any pasta
8 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 heads garlic cloves, sliced
1 28 oz can of whole tomatoes
1 5 ½ oz can of tomato paste
1 cup any red wine
1 Tbsp dred oregano
1-2 bay leaves
1 large sweet potato, grated
1 16 oz package of baby spinach
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 1 kg bag of cheese blend, like Tex-Mex
1. Preheat your oven to 375ºF and turn on your convection fan if you have one.
2. Cook the pasta in lots of salted boiling water. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
3. In a medium saucepan cook the bacon until crispy and brown, about 15 minutes. Remove the bacon and set aside. Add the onion and garlic to the bacon drippings and cook until soft, 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, paste, red wine, oregano and bay leaf, salt. Bring to a simmer. Stir in the grated sweet potato and cook until soft, about 12 minutes. Add the spinach, stirring and allowing the heat of the sauce to wilt it. This sauce is ready to go but if you've got picky eaters, feel free to use your immersion blender to puree any veggie evidence!
4. In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta, Parmesan, egg, salt, pepper and half the cheese blend.
5. To assemble, stir the sauce into the pasta. Fold in the ricotta blend. Turn into a 9 by 13-inch baking pan. Top with remaining half of cheese blend and the reserved bacon. Bake until light brown and bubbly, about 20 minutes.
6. Serve and share.