I wasn’t sure what caused it at first, but I realize it’s blogging that has changed! Connecting with my readers over delicious food has been nothing short of a dream. I hope you’ve been enjoying my journey as I figure out what we love to eat, and how to share it with you. With the holidays coming, we are probably all on the lookout for recipes more than usual. I know I like to go a bit beyond the usual holiday dinners. There are potlucks and holiday parties and next-day leftovers. There are many reasons to cook, and also to find quality ingredients and recipes to share with loved ones. Like a good pasta bake!
To be fair, I always make a pasta bake. Fall and winter absolutely call for the immersion of pasta, cheese and sauce. Add some meat and/or vegetables and it’s pretty much perfection. I made a crockpot lasagna two years ago, and a baked ziti last year. This year? I’m looking for something new for my holiday entertaining. I think a homemade pasta dish is the BEST to take to holiday parties. All that sauce and cheese goodness. AND, I’m headed to my first holiday party in just two weeks.
You all know I’m a big time Walmart shopper. The one by my house has everything I need for my holiday entertaining. My goal is to take my party recipes to next level, and I’m doing that with Barilla Pasta (and sauce) and with Galbani Cheese. They make the most perfect pairing for the holidays, AND they’re conveniently found at Walmart. My recipe for Mediterranean Pasta Bake is an easy one! If you cook the chicken from scratch, it might tack on some time, but you can also use already cooked chicken for an even faster meal. Don’t let the timing fool you, though. This meal will taste like you took all day to make it! This will take your homemade pasta game to next level with the sauce and cheese, and fun ingredients.
- 1 box Barilla Rigatoni
- 1/2 jar Barilla Marinara Sauce
- 2-3 handfuls Galbani Mozzarella
- 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
- 1 pint grape tomatoes
- 1/2 cup sliced artichoke hearts
- 1/2 cup white beans
- 1/2 cup Kalamata olives
- Salt, pepper, oregano to taste
- 1. Heat oven to 425 degrees
- 2. Cook Barilla Rigatoni according to box, drain, and set aside
- 3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat
- 4. Season chicken with salt and pepper and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until no longer pink
- 5. Set chicken aside with pasta
- 6. Add tomatoes to a casserole dish and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper
- 7. Cook until the tomatoes are about to burst - for about 15 minutes
- 8. Remove the casserole dish from the oven and add the cooked Barilla Rigatoni, chicken, artichoke hearts, olives, beans, oregano, sauce, and parsley/basil
- 9. Top the casserole with Galbani Mozzarella and bake for another 5-7 minutes, or until cheese is golden and bubbling
- 10. Enjoy!
Pasta is my love language and it always has been. I don’t think I could ever get tired of it. You can get so creative with pasta and express yourself through recipes. Also, it’s an important part of the Mediterranean Diet – which is a healthy way of eating that is inspired by the dietary patterns of the Mediterranean region. It’s all about a variety of quality food groups eaten in reasonable quantities. I choose Barilla because it’s made with few, wholesome ingredients to provide a simple and natural way to enjoy eating. I buy a different kind of Barilla Pasta every time I go to the store. This time it was Rigatoni.
And Galbani is wonderful. It’s the #1 cheese brand in Italy. I like the Shredding Mozzarella because it has a firmer texture for smooth shredding and better melting. There are no additives like cellulose, potato starch, or other anti-clumping agents.