Wish Upon A Dish: Clean Out the Fridge Pasta Bake

September 9, 2011

Clean Out the Fridge Pasta Bake

I am getting a new stove on Friday, finally. We have talked about this for the last 2 years and it took the oven to go POP before we walked into PC Richards and purchased one.

I knew nothing about the new Elements cooking surfaces so I spent the day on the Internet educating myself. I hate that I can not have a gas stove and I am still not on board with this glass top burners.

I am totally jazzed about the convection oven and finally, I get a self-cleaning oven.....yes, we are pathetic. I should have updated years ago.

There were more important things to take care of first, like 2 Mom's and 2 Dad's, and I had to wait.

My time is NOW.

My problem is THIS......water in the basement, move items upstairs. Items in the way of installing new stove, move to one end of the dinning room.

My house looks like a hurricane hit it.....OH wait, it did.....duh!

Since I have to hang home to babysit our pump downstairs, I decided to clean out my fridge. With no oven, my options for cooking were pots 'n pans or toaster oven.

I decided on making a baked pasta dish. Yes, another pasta dish but as with my orzo salad, this one is also filled with vegetables.

Every thing in this casserole is a leftover. Lil containers of the last of cheeses, sauces, meats and vegetable sides.

Kinda of like a Primavera Pasta Bake. Meaty mushrooms, a layer of eggplant and chicken sausages combined with provolone and Parmesan cheeses, a spoonful of Italian herb cheese, a drib of cream, a splat of tomato sauce and creamy fresh mozzarella and my fridge just gained 1000 sq ft of space. What could possibly be wrong with that?

I'm sure our tummies will be happy also.

Now, remember this is all about leftovers, so anything you have you can use. I would not make something from scratch for this except the pasta if no leftover is available.

If you have steak or chicken, sub the sausages for that. The eggplant layer could be zucchini, roasted peppers or even mashed potatoes.

This recipe is the amounts in what I used to make a 9x9in. casserole.
If you want to make a larger amount, just double everything or add what you think your family would like.

Move Over Left-Over Baked Pasta
serves 4-5
* 1 1/2 - 2 cups dried orrechiette, cooked
* 1 medium eggplant, sliced lengthwise, unpeeled
* 2 cups leftover marinara or spaghetti sauce
* 1/4 cup cream cheese (or herbed Boursin), mascarpone cheese or ricotta
* 1/4 cup cream or half & half
* 2-3 tablespoons grated provolone or fontina
* 2-3 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Romano
* 8oz pre-packaged mozzarella, grated
* 1/2 package of button mushrooms, sliced and sauteed in olive oil
* 1 cup water or pasta water

1. Cook pasta, reserving 1 cup water

2. Coat a 9x9in baking pan with sauce. Add eggplant slices to cover, overlapping and grate Parmesan cheese over them.

3. Mix pasta, meats, 1/2 the mozzarella, Parmesan, provolone, cream, cream cheese, mushrooms, pasta water and 3/4 cup sauce together. Spread evenly over eggplant.

4. Layer remaining eggplant slices over pasta mixture, sprinkle with more Parmesan cheese and remaining marinara sauce.

5. Sprinkle remaining grated mozzarella over sauce and cover with foil.
Spray foil with release agent before covering pan. This will stop the cheese from sticking.

6. Bake at 400F for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake until cheese is browned and bubbly.

7. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.

This was really ooey gooey and good. I like that you get two dishes in one, Eggplant Parmigiana and sandwiched between....creamy, cheesy baked sausage and pasta.

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