It is not often that Mr. J and I have dinner failures. We have good luck, I guess? Or we are fabulously talented.
Last week though we had a pretty big failure. I thought I was doing the right thing. I took a recipe I love and added some ingredients from a different recipe I thought would really add something special.
Last month I posted this Garlicky Baked Penne dish. It was beyond fabulous. Perfect comfort. Melt in your mouth. Cheesy and garlicky.
The I saw a crock pot recipe for a similar pasta dish with the addition of red onions and mushrooms. I had a really bad experience with pasta in a crock pot in the past so I decided to use the method of the Garlicky Baked Penne with the ingredients of the Cheesy Mushroom Rigatoni.
Great idea right? Not so much. The onion was raw, the mushrooms still had some chew in them. A few bites in said enough. I looked at Mr. J and said, "this isn't very good." The poor man had a sheepish grin. He didn't like it from bite one but didn't say anything. Ahh!
Repeat after me, " I will not try to take short cuts in recipes again."
I think it has potential. Just a bit of cooking ahead of time with the onion and mushrooms.
Baked Mushroom and Spinach Rigatoni
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Keywords: bake entree vegetarian pasta spinach mushrooms
Ingredients (serves 8)
- 12 ounces rigatoni
- 2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 large egg
- 3 clove garlic, minced
- 10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and strained
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasonings
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.
Cook the rigatoni according to instructions for al dente. Drain and set aside.
In a bowl, combine the ricotta, parmesan, and egg. Stir until smooth. Add the garlic, red onions, spinach, nutmeg, dried basil, crushed red pepper, and salt and pepper.
Layer with a third of red sauce, half of the pasta into the prepared baking dish. Spoon half of spinach ricotta mixture on top of the pasta in an even layer. Add half of the sliced mushrooms on top of the spinach ricotta mixture. Sprinkle half of the mozzarella cheese over the mixture. Repeat. Top with the remaining sauce followed by the remaining mozzarella cheese.
Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until the mozzarella is melted. Turn oven up to broil and place pan at the top rack. Keep a close watch cook until cheese starts to brown, about 3 more minutes. Serve warm.
**Note: I found the onions and mushrooms to be too raw for my tastes. I would recommend sauteing them both ahead of the layering process.
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