Thursday, November 4, 2010

Creamy 3-Cheese Baked Penne

I'm sitting here watching TV, trying to think of some witty header to put on this recipe & I am coming up empty! The show is America's Next Top Model... something I'm almost embarrassed to admit I watch!! LOL And they just took a plane to Venice, Italy to do some fancy-schmancy scenic European shoots... and wouldn't you know it, I made pasta for dinner tonight! Haha! I feel like I'm practically in Italy! I'm SO authentic Italian. Wait 'til you see this recipe! You'll feel like you're right there in Venice with these ridiculous wannabe models! Actually, you totally won't, because as far as what I recall from my time in Italy 16 years ago, we never had anything like this. This is like white girl trying to be Italian! But it's good white girl food!! Give it a go!

The shopping list:

Penne, spaghetti sauce (I love Newman's Own Sockarooni!), a can of diced tomatoes (I chose fire roasted today), sour cream, cream cheese, mozzarella & Parmesan cheese (not the powdered kind - the shredded stuff that will melt!)

First up is boiling your pasta. Just cook it up like you normally would; drain it.

Now take that still-hot pan & put it back on the burner over medium heat. Pour in the sauce, tomatoes & cream cheese. Stir it around until the cream cheese melts & it's all nice, creamy & well-combined.

Add the pasta to it and stir it around to coat it evenly.

Now put half the pasta mixture into a 9x13 pan & spread with half the sour cream. It's a little tricky - just use small scoops & spread it a little at a time. But don't worry about being perfect. It's all gonna blend together anyway. Top the sour cream with half the mozzarella then do it all again with the rest of the pasta, the rest of the sour cream & the rest of the mozzarella!

Put the Parmesan cheese on top of it all & pop it into a 375 oven for about 20 minutes.

(and ignore the dirty oven that is overdue for a cleaning!)

Pull it out & let it set up for about 10 minutes - then dig in & enjoy!

Take a look inside!

I think you're gonna like it! It's very rich & creamy & delicious - and SO totally not Italian!

Creamy 3-Cheese Baked Penne:

1 box of Penne (4 cups dry)
1 jar (26oz) spaghetti/marinara sauce
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
6-oz cream cheese (3/4 of a block)
8-oz sour cream (1 cup)
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan

Heat oven to 375.

Boil the pasta according to package directions. Drain; set aside. In the same pot mix sauce, tomatoes & cream cheese. Cook on medium heat until cheese is melted and everything is well combined, about 5 minutes. Add pasta to the sauce mixture & stir around to coat.

Put half the pasta mixture in a 9x13 pan. Top with half the sour cream and half the mozzarella. Repeat layers with remaining pasta, sour cream & mozzarella. Top with Parmesan & bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.


  1. Yum! Haven't tried it with Cream Cheese in it. Going to have to try this one!

  2. I made this for our family dinner last night and it was a HIT!! Thanks Michelle!

  3. I love the cream cheese idea! I need to try that!