When it comes to preparing the One Pot 30 Minute Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta Bake, simplicity is key. This recipe ensures that you can have a delicious and satisfying meal without spending hours in the kitchen or using a multitude of pots and pans. Let’s dive into the step-by-step process of creating this mouthwatering dish.
Chapter 1: The Recipe
SUMMARIZED RECEIPE IS AT THE BOTTOM- KEEP READING
2.1 Boiling the pasta and preparing the pot
To start, you’ll want to bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. This pasta bake is versatile, allowing you to use your favorite long-cut pasta, such as fettuccine, penne, or rigatoni. Choose whichever shape you prefer and cook the pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. This ensures that the pasta retains a slight bite and doesn’t become mushy once baked.
After draining the cooked pasta, you’ll return it to the same pot. This not only saves you from having to wash an additional dish, but it also allows the pasta to retain some residual heat, which is important for the next step.
2.2 Adding the remaining ingredients to the pot for a flavorful sauce
Once the pasta is back in the pot, it’s time to add the remaining ingredients that create the creamy tomato basil sauce. Begin by incorporating basil pesto, either homemade or store-bought, into the pasta. The aromatic basil and nutty flavors of the pesto serve as a vibrant base for the sauce.
Next, you’ll incorporate marinara sauce, which provides the familiar tomato flavor we all love. Additionally, the key to the rich and complex taste of this dish lies in the inclusion of red enchilada sauce. This unexpected ingredient adds a spicy, smoky note that elevates the overall taste profile. Don’t worry; the spice won’t overpower the dish, but rather provides a pleasant kick.
For an additional burst of flavor, oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes bring a sweet tanginess that perfectly complements the creaminess of the sauce. Chop the sun-dried tomatoes and add them to the pot, ensuring they are well-distributed throughout the dish.
2.3 The secret ingredients that elevate the dish: sun-dried tomatoes and enchilada sauce
As mentioned earlier, the sun-dried tomatoes and enchilada sauce are the secret ingredients that make this recipe truly special. The sun-dried tomatoes infuse the sauce with a deep and concentrated tomato flavor, while the enchilada sauce adds a unique and exciting twist.
The combination of these two ingredients creates a perfectly balanced sauce that is neither too rich nor too bland. Instead, it strikes just the right balance, tantalizing your taste buds with each bite.
2.4 Creating a creamy texture with goat cheese and coconut milk or heavy cream
To achieve a luxuriously creamy texture, goat cheese is added to the pasta. Its tangy and slightly tart flavor melts into the sauce, contributing to the overall creaminess and adding a touch of indulgence. If you prefer a milder taste, you can substitute cream cheese or crème fraîche for the goat cheese.
For an extra creamy consistency, a splash of full-fat coconut milk or heavy cream is swirled into the pot. Both options provide a velvety texture that coats the pasta, making each bite a delightfully luscious experience. Choose the milk or cream based on your personal preference or dietary requirements.
2.5 Choosing the right pasta shape for the dish
While this recipe suggests using fettuccine, you have the flexibility to choose any pasta shape that you enjoy. Consider your pasta preference and the desired mouthfeel when selecting the perfect option. If you prefer a hearty and substantial bite, penne or rigatoni would be excellent choices. No matter which shape you choose, the end result will be a satisfying and comforting dish.
2.6 Baking the pasta with mozzarella for a melty and cheesy finish
To finish off the One Pot 30 Minute Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta Bake, you’ll transfer the pot, if oven-safe, directly into a preheated oven. Alternatively, you can transfer the pasta to a 9×13 inch baking dish. These options allow the pasta to bake until the cheese on top becomes golden and bubbling.
Before baking, tear fresh mozzarella into pieces and scatter it over the pasta. The mozzarella will melt and create beautifully creamy pockets within the dish. As it browns under the heat of the oven, it develops a delightful stringiness that adds to the overall texture and visual appeal.
Once the pasta bake is out of the oven, the sauce will be bubbling, the cheese will be melted and golden, and the aroma will be irresistible. You’ve now transformed simple ingredients into a crowd-pleasing and satisfying meal that will have everyone asking for seconds.
In the next chapter, we’ll explore the various ways to serve and enjoy the One Pot 30 Minute Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta Bake. Get ready to experience a burst of freshness and learn how to elevate this dish to new heights.
One Pot 30 Minute Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta Bake
Creamy, spicy, tomato basil pesto sauce made with summer tomatoes, basil pesto, and a touch of red enchilada sauce, then tossed with fettuccine pasta, creamy goat cheese, and melty fontina and mozzarella cheese. Two words, SO GOOD!
Prep Time: 15minutes mins
Cook Time: 15minutes mins
Total Time: 30minutes mins
Author: Tieghan Gerard
- 1 pound dry fettuccine or other long cut pasta
- 1 tablespoon salted butter
- 1 cup basil pesto, homemade or store-bought
- 1 jar (28 ounce) marinara sauce
- 1/3 cup red enchilada sauce
- 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, oil drained and chopped
- 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (cream cheese or crème fraîche can be used instead)
- 1 cup cubed fontina cheese
- 1/2 cup canned full fat coconut milk, or heavy cream
- kosher salt and pepper
- 6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, torn
- 2 cups fresh cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- 2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain the pasta and add it right back to the hot pot. To the pot add the butter, pesto, pasta sauce, enchilada sauce, sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese, fontina cheese, and milk/cream. Season with salt and pepper. Gently toss everything together until a creamy sauce has formed, about 3-5 minutes. If your pot is not oven-safe, transfer the pasta to a 9×13 inch baking dish. Scatter the mozzarella overtop the pasta.
- 3. Transfer to the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, then turn the broiler on and broil for 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is golden and bubbly.
- 4. Remove from the oven and let sit 5 minutes. Serve topped with tomatoes and fresh basil. Enjoy!
Chapter 3: Serving and Enjoying
Now that you have mastered the art of creating the One Pot 30 Minute Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta Bake, it’s time to explore the various ways to serve and enjoy this delightful dish. Whether you’re looking for a quick weeknight dinner or planning a special occasion, this pasta bake is versatile enough to meet your needs.
3.1 Adding fresh basil and cherry tomatoes for a burst of freshness
To elevate the flavors of the creamy tomato basil pasta bake, it’s essential to add a finishing touch of freshness. One way to achieve this is by sprinkling a handful of fresh basil leaves over the top just before serving. The aromatic basil leaves lend a pleasant herbaceous note and offer a pop of vibrant green to the dish.
To complement the basil, consider incorporating halved cherry tomatoes. These juicy red gems bring a burst of sweetness and acidity, balancing out the richness of the creamy sauce. As you take a bite, the combination of creamy pasta, fragrant basil, and juicy tomatoes creates a harmonious and refreshing experience for your palate.
3.2 Pairing the dish with a side salad for a complete meal
While the One Pot 30 Minute Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta Bake is satisfying on its own, pairing it with a side salad creates a well-rounded and complete meal. The freshness and crunch of a salad nicely contrast with the creamy texture of the pasta, providing a range of flavors and textures that keep your taste buds engaged.
Consider a simple mixed green salad with a light vinaigrette dressing or a Mediterranean-style salad with ingredients like cucumbers, bell peppers, feta cheese, and olives. These accompanying salads provide a refreshing and tangy complement to the rich and creamy pasta bake.
3.3 The versatility of the dish for weeknight dinners or special occasions
One of the beauties of the One Pot 30 Minute Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta Bake is its versatility. Whether you’re preparing a quick weeknight dinner or hosting a special occasion, this recipe can rise to the occasion.
For a weeknight dinner, this pasta bake offers simplicity and ease. It comes together in just 30 minutes, allowing you to enjoy a home-cooked meal without spending hours in the kitchen. The minimal ingredients and one-pot preparation make cleanup a breeze, leaving you with more time to relax and unwind.
On the other hand, this dish can also make an appearance as a star attraction at a special occasion or dinner party. Its creamy texture and rich flavors will impress your guests, and they’ll be delighted to learn that it’s a dish you prepared effortlessly. Serve it alongside a selection of appetizers or a crusty baguette for a memorable and satisfying meal.
3.4 Preparing the dish ahead of time for easy entertaining
One of the great advantages of the One Pot 30 Minute Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta Bake is that it can be prepared ahead of time, making it ideal for easy entertaining. Here’s how you can prepare in advance:
- Follow the recipe until the point where the pasta is cooked and the creamy sauce has formed.
- Transfer the pasta to a baking dish if your pot isn’t oven-safe.
- Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil or a lid and refrigerate until ready to bake.
- When it’s time to serve, remove the dish from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature.
- Bake the pasta as outlined in the recipe, adding a few extra minutes as needed since it’s starting from a chilled state.
By prepping the pasta bake in advance, you’ll have more time to spend with your guests and enjoy their company without the stress of last-minute cooking. It’s a convenient option that ensures a delicious and impressive meal every time.
3.5 Tips for storing and reheating leftovers
If you find yourself with leftovers, rest assured that the One Pot 30 Minute Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta Bake holds up well for future meals. Consider the following tips for storing and reheating your leftovers:
- Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
- When reheating, transfer a portion to a microwave-safe dish and cover loosely with a microwave-safe lid or a damp paper towel to prevent splattering.
- Heat in the microwave on medium power, stirring occasionally until heated through.
- Alternatively, reheat the pasta bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes or until warmed to your liking.
By following these simple tips, you can enjoy the One Pot 30 Minute Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta Bake for additional meals throughout the week, making it a practical and delicious option for leftovers.
In the next chapter, we’ll wrap up this article by recapping the simplicity and deliciousness of the One Pot 30 Minute Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta Bake and inspiring you to try this recipe for yourself. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to try this crowd-pleasing dish and share your feedback with others.