I love a pasta bake. It’s an easy dinner option on it’s own, but also makes a great side dish for pairing with meat. While there are many recipes with only one step of tossing everything together in the baking dish and viola-I’ve noticed that if I take a step prior to that to get all of the flavors combined and cooked a bit before they go in the oven, the outcome is much tastier! Which is exactly what I do with this Easy Pesto Pasta Bake Recipe.
Easy Pesto Pasta Bake Recipe
- 1 lb box of rigatoni pasta
- 4 tbs homemade or store-bought pesto
- 6 oz mozarella, sliced
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- 1 packed cup fresh basil, chopped
- 3 zucchini squash sliced and halved
- 1/4 cup olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Follow instructions on box to make pasta. Set aside once cooked. In a large pan on medium heat, place sliced and halved zucchini squash with salt, pepper and garlic, half of the parmesan and half of the olive oil. Stir often and allow to brown a bit-about 7 minutes. Toss in the cooked pasta, the remainder of the olive oil and pesto. Stir continuously until combined well. As you transfer everything to a baking dish, do so in three parts so you can layer each with the chopped basil. Once everything is in the baking dish, evenly distribute the mozarella and the remainder of the parmesan. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn on broil for 3 minutes. Serve and enjoy!