This dinner meal has the same flavors and style of lasagna but in a casserole form. I adore casserole's because they usually make more than enough and they are easy to throw together in minutes. You'll love the flavors of the marinara sauce and the fresh basil that's in the ricotta cheese mixture. It's an easy throw together meal for a busy weeknight, or perfect for a nice sit down dinner with the family.
This casserole requires a layer of pasta, ricotta cheese mixture, and marinara sauce, and more shredded cheese of coarse! Start by preheating the oven to 420 degrees. Cook your pasta first. Fill a pan of water with enough water to cook 1/2- 3/4 of a 16 oz box of pasta. Add salt to the water.
First make your ricotta cheese mixture. Add ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, basil, egg, salt and pepper to a bowl and mix. Set aside.
Now make your marinara sauce. Puree one can of diced tomatoes in a blender and add to a sauce pan over medium heat on the stove. Add all your spices and bring to a boil, once boiling turn it down to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes. After about 10 minutes add the tomato paste and stir. Now your ready to layer the casserole. Drain any excess water from you pasta after it's done cooking.
Add enough marinara sauce to the bottom of a 8 by 8 pan. Add your pasta to the bottom it will fill the pan about half way. Now add your ricotta cheese mixture, spread out evenly. Then add your marinara sauce and shredded cheese on top.
Then add your marinara sauce and shredded cheese on top. I garnished it with parsley flakes as well.
Cook for about 22 minutes or until browned on top. Like this picture.
Doesn't it look so amazing? Now it's time to devour! I'm sure it won't last long, it doesn't in our house. Enjoy!
Ricotta Cheese Pasta Casserole
Ready in 30-45 mins
½-3/4 of a 16 oz box of rotini pasta (you can use whatever pasta you’d like)
¾ c mozzarella cheese grated or white cheddar cheese grated (for the top of the casserole)
Ricotta Cheese Mixture
1 15 oz container of organic ricotta cheese
1 c mozzarella cheese grated
¼ c chopped fresh basil or dried (can also use dried parsley if you don’t have basil)
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
Red Pasta Sauce
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes (pureed)
½ of a 6 oz can of tomato paste (you can add more if you prefer a thicker consistency)
1 tsp salt (more to taste)
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp parsley flakes
½ tsp dried basil
Preheat the oven to 420 degrees
First get your pasta cooking on medium heat in a saucepan. Boil enough water to cook half of a 16 oz box of pasta (add salt to the water before boiling)
While your waiting for your pasta to cook you can make the ricotta mixture and the marinara sauce.
Ricotta Cheese Mixture
In a bowl mix together ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, basil, egg, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Marinara Pasta Sauce
Puree your can of diced tomatoes in a blender with ½ tsp salt and add to a saucepan over medium heat.
Add all your spices to the tomato mixture and let it come to a boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer and let cook for about 15 minutes. After about 10 minutes add your can of tomato paste and stir until blended well. Add more salt and pepper to taste if needed. Now your ready to layer your casserole.
Layering Your Casserole
Place you marinara sauce in an 8 by 8 pan first, place enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Drain the excess water from your pasta once it’s done cooking. Now place all your pasta in the pan, it should fill the pan about half way full. Now add your ricotta cheese mixture, spread in an even layer. Now add your marinara sauce and your shredded cheese on top. I added parsley flakes on top for garnish.
Place in the oven and cook for about 22 mins or until it’s browned on top. That’s it, enjoy this delicious pasta dish, it’s sure to please your palate!
*Use organic ingredients when feasible
*You can easily double this recipe and use a 9 by 13 in pan if you have more people in your family