Pre-boiling pasta is for chumps. Take your laziness game to a whole new level with this scrumptious no-boil Caprese Pasta Bake!
Do you remember seeing those infomercials for the Dump Cake cookbook? You know, the one where the lady shows you just how easy it is to dump a bunch of crap in a pan and put it in the oven? No?
Confession: I have a bit of an infomercial problem.
I can get stuck on an infomercial channel for ages! I rarely buy things, but I LOVE watching them.
Recently, I was introduced to a YouTube channel called Jaboody Dubs. The channel shares videos of infomercials, dubbed over with hilarious commentary. I imagine that the people in these infomercials don’t appreciate this very much, but personally I find it hilarious.
If you have the sense of humor of a 15-year old boy, and you don’t mind profanity, here’s Jaboody Dub’s video parody of the Dump Cake infomercial. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about this no-boil caprese pasta bake.
The reason why it got me thinking about the dump cake cookbook is because this casserole is basically a “dump” recipe.
There’s no pre-boiling, no sauteeing, and no dirty pans. Just one knife, one cutting board, a casserole dish, and a spatula! Oh, and a cheese grater.
Caprese pasta bake, where have you been all my life?
Here’s the run-down on how to make this super easy dinner:
First, chop up some veggies. I used red and yellow bell peppers, cremini mushrooms, and yellow onion. You can swap these out for any vegetables you like, as long as you still use 2 cups total.
Zucchini would be an excellent choice. I also wouldn’t judge you if you just used a bag of Trader Joe’s frozen peppers and onions.
Grate some mozzarella cheese, pick some fresh basil leaves, and mince a few cloves of garlic.
Pour a jar of your favorite marina sauce into a 9 x 13 baking dish, then fill the jar up with water and pour that into the dish, too. Stir it together, then add in the veggies, garlic, basil, and cheese. Dump in the dry pasta and a splash of balsamic vinegar, then give the whole thing a good stir.
If your dish looks like the picture above, you should stir in another 1/4-1/2 cup water to make sure all of your pasta is submerged in liquid.
Cover the whole thing in foil, and bake it for half an hour while you drink wine and watch a Sex and The City rerun.
After thirty minutes, remove the foil and lay slices of fresh mozzarella over the top. Bake for another 10-15 minutes, uncovered, until the pasta is tender. If you want those beautiful brown spots on your cheese, switch on your broiler and let the direct heat work its magic. Just don’t leave it in there for very long, things get bubbly and delicious in mere seconds.
Top your creation with more basil leaves and halved cherry tomatoes.
Now eat it.
Here’s the Recipe!
- 1 (24 oz) jar marinara sauce
- 1 (24 oz) “jar” water + 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup full fat greek yogurt
- 1 cup diced red, yellow, or orange bell pepper (about 1 medium pepper)
- 1 cup diced yellow onion (about half an onion)
- 1/4 pound cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, divided
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 3/4 lb Mozzarella cheese – 1/4 pound shredded, remaining 1/2 pound thinly sliced into circles
- 1 lb penne pasta
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a 9x13 casserole dish, whisk together the marinara sauce, water, salt, and greek yogurt.
- Fold in the bell pepper, onion, mushroom, garlic, 1 cup basil leaves, balsamic, and 1/4 pound shredded cheese. Fold in the dry pasta. Cover tightly with foil. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Stir, arrange the cheese slices on top, and bake uncovered for 10-15 minutes.
- Top with halved tomatoes and remaining basil leaves.
Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per ServingCalories 265 Total Fat 11g Saturated Fat 6g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 4g Cholesterol 35mg Sodium 494mg Carbohydrates 27g Fiber 3g Sugar 5g Protein 15g