No matter what form it takes, the combination of rich, meaty tomato sauce, perfectly cooked pasta, and ooey-gooey cheese just delivers comfort.
It can be plain ol' pasta and sauce (with or without meatballs), lasagna, or some other amalgamation entirely, but there's just something about that trio that warms the soul.
We've all been inundated with awesome and special and fancy and decadent recipes in preparation for our Thanksgiving feasts (I've been particularly surprised and impressed by both the quality and quantity this year), but we mustn't forget that we have to eat in the days before Thursday too. Baked pasta is an easy and comforting dinner that you can throw together while the rest of your brain is preoccupied with turkey, Brussels sprouts, and pecan pie.
Keep your energy up, folks--you're on the home stretch.
- One batch of spaghetti sauce
- One box rigatoni pasta, cooked al dente
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to garnish
Make the sauce as directed.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a 4-quart casserole dish with cooking spray, then spread a little sauce on the bottom.
Dump about a third of the noodles into the dish and drop spoonfuls of cottage cheese over the noodles. Dump about a third of the sauce on top of that.
Repeat the noodle-cottage cheese-sauce layering two more times, then cover the top with the shredded mozzarella cheese.
Cover the dish with foil and bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling.
You can remove the foil for the last few minutes to brown the cheese and make it extra tasty.
Let the dish sit for 10 minutes or so before serving.