Monday, January 26, 2015

Cheesy Pasta!

Some days you get canceled on by a friend who was supposed to take you skiing. Some days you get canceled on by two friends who were supposed to take you skiing... on those days it is understandable if you wait four hours to take off your ski pants. Couches and disappointment go well with ski pants. Some days living in Utah is the best, and some days it's the worst. On all the days, it's a good idea to make cheesy pasta.

Cheesy pasta is always the best.

It starts, coincidentally, with the pasta sauce I made the other day. While the sauce is cooking, you chop some basil and mozzarella, cook some penne, and listen to Tracy Chapman. Wine drinking is optional, but highly recommended.

After that, it's layer time! Pasta, sauce, cheese, basil. Pasta, sauce, cheese, basil. Pasta, sauce, cheese, basil... you get the point. Also, I never really get more than three or four layers. It's not precision work. Just put it all in a baking dish, then bake it, then eat it. JUST EAT IT I SAY!

Cheesy pasta inspires passion.

I started making this one in college, the summer after my junior year, and haven't stopped since. It was probably the thing I made most that year, when my six housemates were sharing responsibility for cooking on $200.00 a week. There were never any leftovers. There still aren't.

Cheesy Pasta
Adapted slightly from Orangette

1 batch pasta sauce
8 oz mozzarella cheese, cubed very tinily
2 oz basil, chopped
1.5 lbs penne pasta
1/2 cup shredded parmesan

Cook penne according to package instructions. In the meantime, prepare a large baking dish (or several small freezable metal trays, if you're me and you live alone). When the pasta is drained, scoop approximately a quarter of it into the baking dish, then do the same with sauce and both cheeses and basil, scattering the mozzarella cubes and basil evenly around the pan. Repeat until you're out of ingredients :D

Note: I actually prefer to only put basil in the bottom couple layers (half in each of the first two layers) because it dries out if it's on top. That being said, I don't think it makes much of a difference.

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