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Baked Penne with Speedy Sauce

1 Feb

When I have under an hour to prepare dinner, this dish is fast and easy. It’s also very tasty with zesty sauce meeting gooey cheesiness, making this pasta a great comfort food.

12 oz Penne or Ziti
14.5 oz can tomato sauce
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1/3 cup white wine
3 gloves garlic, roughly chopped
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese (buy a block and grate it yourself; it’ll be cheaper AND it melts better)
garlic salt
olive oil
sea salt
optional: red pepper flakes

Begin with the chopped garlic and the olive oil over medium/low heat. Sauté for a moment until garlic is fragrant but not browned. If you’re using pepper flakes, add 1/4 teaspoon here. Next, pour in the tomatoes and white wine.

Follow with good dashes of pepper, garlic salt, basil, oregano, and a tiny bit of marjoram. Bring to a gentle simmer.

Cook the pasta in salted, boiling water for just a few minutes. The noodles still need to be very al dente so they do not fall apart in the oven.

Drain the pasta, saving about a cup of the cooking water, and add to the sauce. If you’re using a baking dish, pour the pasta in and smooth out the top. I like to make the sauce in an enameled cast iron casserole so it can go straight into the oven and there’s one less dish to wash.

Cover the top with a semi-thick layer of mozzarella. Bake in a 375F oven for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melty and bubbly.


This baked pasta isn’t the prettiest dish, but it’s fast, it doesn’t require much effort, and it tastes so good!


My Favorite Sandwich

24 Jan

This is my all-time favorite sandwich. True, it’s a bit messy, but the deliciousness is unparalleled. It makes a great meal, and when rolled up in foil, it travels fairly well and makes a suitable workday lunch.

One small baguette, halved horizontally
Two leaves of Romaine lettuce
One slice of Havarti cheese, halved
Two to three slices of good turkey (Boar’s Head Ovengold is my absolute favorite)
Half of a ripe avocado
Half of a Roma tomato, sliced

Spread the mayonnaise on the bottom slice of bread, and moosh the avocado into the top half. Feel free to assemble any way you like; my method is as follows, from bottom to top: lettuce, turkey, cheese, and tomato.

If you have any crispy bacon hanging around the house, it would work nicely on this sandwich!

Note: In order to prevent topping slippage, I squish my sandwich down a bit before eating. 🙂