Baked Rigatoni

I am a busy busy woman. I often tell myself that I don't have enough time to make home made meals. This often leads to a lot of take out food, a lot of money wasted and far too much rich food. I find that they key is to making food during my busy week is to be prepared. I need to make sure that I know what I'm going to make and to have the ingredients on hand. I also like to make a big batch of something that I can have for lunch or dinner for a few days in a row.

As winter approaches, I have been feeling like eating hearty dishes (insulation?). This recipe is an example of how fast and easy it can be to make a delicious, home-made meal.

Baked Rigatoni
3/4 of a 900 gram bag of rigatoni
2 large cans of your favorite pasta sauce (I used roasted garlic and tomato)
3/4 of a 454g tub of ricotta cheese
1/2 fresh lemon
1 package pre-sliced mushrooms
freshly ground pepper
1 cup of frozen peas
1 bag of pre-grated cheese (or do it yourself! I used a cheddar blend).

1. Boil the pasta in a large pot of salted water for about 9 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water until cooled down. Put the pasta back in the pot and cover with tomato sauce. Add in peas and stir to combine.
2. Sauté mushrooms in garlic and olive oil until tender. I turned up the heat to high at the end to brown them. Add them to the pasta mixture.
3. Put the ricotta cheese into a bowl. Zest the lemon onto the cheese and squeeze in the juice of half of the lemon. Top with freshly ground pepper and mix.
4. Add half of the pasta mixture to the bottom of a large casserole dish. Top with dollops of the ricotta cheese mixture. Cover the ricotta with the other half of the pasta. Top with the grated cheese (I was very generous) and baked in a 375 degree oven for about 40 minutes. Enjoy!


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