Monday, February 15, 2010

Girls' Weekend Baked Penne Pasta

My best friends from college & I get together a few times a year. This is quite an achievement considering we graduated almost 7 years ago and we come from 4 different states. Most recently we all met in Indianapolis at my friend Beth's house. Beth made us a lovely baked penne dish one night. I took pictures of the process and Beth shared the recipe with me. This dish is hearty, filling, and cheesy! It's great for a big crowd.

Lots of love to my favorite girls: Beth, Beth, Neile & Jen and here's to hoping Mary can make it next time!! :)

Girls' Weekend Baked Penne Pasta

1 lb. ground turkey
1 1/2 jars of Marinara Sauce
5 - 8 mushrooms
4 garlic cloves
1 lb. penne pasta
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
4 tablespoons olive oil
Mince garlic and slice mushrooms. Heat olive oil in large pan and add in garlic. Cook for a few seconds until fragrant and put in sliced mushrooms. Cook until browned. Keep moving the garlic and mushrooms so the garlic doesn't burn.
Once the mushrooms are soft and brown add in turkey. Season with salt and pepper and a few shakes of oregano, basil, parsley or an Italian spice mix (whatever you have on hand). Brown the meat. Add in 1 1/2 jars of marinara sauce and let simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile boil the penne according to box.

Once the pasta and sauce are done, pour the sauce over the pasta and mix together. Stir in 1 cup of mozzarella and pour into casserole dish. Top with remaining cup of cheese.

Bake covered in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, removing the lid for the last 10 minutes to brown the cheese. 

Serve with salad, garlic bread, a good red wine, and enjoy!!

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