So…can you do me a huge favour? I’m just gonna drift off to sleep here, and I need you to wake me up once Spring Break starts, okay?
As the millenials are putting it (including me, as I fit in that demographic), “I just can’t ‘adult’ today.” Actually, I’m pretty sure I haven’t been able to ‘adult’ properly all week; I’ve been faking it just enough to get by.
There are too many big life changes happening all around me, and I’m more than a little tempted to just curl up into the fetal position for a few days and distance myself from everything new, unpleasant and/or scary.
Seriously, it’s been one of those “let’s start the week by putting down the family cat that we’ve had for twenty years,” sort of weeks. So yeah…totally over this week, and very much ready for Spring Break.
Until then, I think I’ll be relying heavily on comfort food, and this Creamy Tomato Pasta Baked with Cheese is definitely up there when it comes to dishes that warm the weary cockles of my heart. Like the best foods in life, it’s a warm blanket to wrap around you on a dreary, “just don’t make me go out there and ‘adult'” sort of day.
Creamy Tomato Pasta Baked with Cheese
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 x 14 oz. cans low-sodium diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp. salted butter
- salt and pepper to taste
- 250 g. uncooked pasta, such as farfelle
- 200 g. grated mozzarella
- 75 g. fresh parmesan or parmesan petals
- fresh chopped Italian parsley, for garnish
- Cook your pasta according to package instructions. After you’ve drained your pasta, soak your pasta in cold water for a few minutes to stop the cooking process. Drain the cold water and set aside for later.
- In a braiser or wide Dutch oven over medium heat, warm up your oil. Sautee the diced onion for about 5-6 minutes, turning down the heat slightly if it starts to brown too quickly.
- Add in the garlic and cook another minute.
- At this time, preheat your oven to 400°F.
- Dump in the canned tomatoes and add in your dried herbs. Give everything a good stir, then let it simmer away on medium heat for about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. If it starts to dry out too quickly and stick to the bottom, add a bit of water (about 1/4 cup at a time, and only if needed).
- Turn the heat to low-medium and add in both the cream and the butter. Cook an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Toss in the pasta, making sure to incorporate everything together really well. Mix together your mozzarella and parmesan, then sprinkle evenly over your pasta.
- Toss everything into the oven, uncovered, and cook for 8-10 minutes. Then, switch your oven to broil and cook for about 5 minutes longer, until the cheese browns but doesn’t burn.
- Remove from the oven and garnish with parsley.
Serves 4-5 as a main