Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Baked Penne

I am introducing two new products that I tried this week:  Honeyville's Freeze Dried Mozzarella Cheese and Shirley J's Universal Sauce.  Honeyville Farms just got in Freeze Dried Mozzarella Cheese last week and the retail stores are now carrying a line of products called Shirley J.  Shirley J's have everything from baking mixes to bouillon to sauces.  I knew both the Freeze Dried Mozzarella Cheese and Universal Sauce would be perfect for the dinner I was making.  Surprising that I had thought about dinner before 5:00 pm! 

Okay so the ingredients couldn't be more simple:

3 1/2 cups Penne Pasta (uncooked measurement)
1 Jar of Marinara/Pasta Sauce
2 cups Honeyville's Freeze Dried Mozzarella Cheese (before hydrating)
Packet of Shirley J's Universal Sauce
1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese


Preheat your oven to 375 and get the water boiling for the noodles.  Cook your noodles per packaging instructions (boil water, add noodles, let cook for 9ish minutes). Drain and set aside in casserole dish.

Thanks to Tenille's previous post on cheese, I made sure I started rehydrating the cheese at the beginning of my dinner prep so it was ready for me later.

Shh don't tell but I totally didn't measure the water.  I just put some in and dumped the cheese in and pushed it down a little with a fork and left it.  I am such a rebel!
Next make the Universal Sauce.  It's called Universal Sauce because you can use it for a lot of different things.  With just a few tweaks you can make it into Alfredo Sauce (which is what I did), a country gravy, Chowder/Soup base, etc.  You just combine the mix to 2 cups water and add 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese to make an Alfredo Sauce. 

Once the Alfredo Sauce is made, add a jar of marinara sauce and stir to combine.


Pour sauce over the cooked noodles.  You don't need to add all the sauce to the noodles, I had about 1/2 cup or so leftover that we used to dip bread sticks in.

If I was a professional I would have wiped around the edges to make this look better, but in my defense I was hungry so my focus was on getting this in the oven pronto!  I'll do better next time :) 
Sprinkle the rehydrated cheese on top. (This was the hardest step of all because it is a little tough to "sprinkle" damp mozzarella cheese.)  Please note that your cheese isn't going to soak up all the water so please don't forget to drain it!

Bake for about 15 minutes, until heated through and cheese is melted.  If you want to get fancy you can broil it for a second or two to make the cheese get that golden color.  But don't leave it unattended during the broiling process, it can go from perfect to dismal in a flash.  Enjoy!


My family really likes this dish.  I like it because 1-it tastes good, 2-it is fairly easy to make, 3-if we have leftovers it heats up well, and 4-the recipe is easy to adapt according to your family size too! I am sure you could hide some vegetables, like Honeyville's Freeze Dried Broccoli, in this casserole.  I've made this recipe before with a dry packet of Alfredo Sauce and it was fine but this time I got comments that it seemed more creamy!

The pasta is on sale until the end of the month at the retail stores.  Pasta keeps for 2 years so don't be afraid of the 10 lb or even 20 lb box!  I am always surprised how fast I go through my supply. 

Happy Eating!

2 comments:

Aimee Fuller said...

Makes my mouth water all over again. That Universal Sauce was delicious and the alfredo/marinara sauce was really creamy.

Brian~Cami~Rian said...

I am very interested in this universal sauce! Crazy! Looks like a great dish!