Elaina’s Eats: Baked Pasta


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Elaina saved a trip to the grocery store by getting most of her ingredients from Brooks Dining Hall. She suggests fi lling a to-go box with pasta, spinach, onions, tomatoes, chicken, cheese and vegetables. ELAINA MERCATORIS/THE CAMPUS

I found this recipe online last week while I was browsing the internet and realized I have never baked a dinner dish before. This recipe is very simple, so I figured, why not?
One thing you must have is a baking dish. My mom gave me an old one over the summer to use but it’s been sitting in a dresser drawer for months.
I didn’t want to have to walk down to the grocery store to get my ingredients for dinner, so instead, I went to Brooks.
You can get the majority of the main ingredients in our dining hall. Get a to-go container and fill it up with pasta, spinach, onions, tomatoes, chicken, cheese and any vegetables you’d like, such as broccoli or peppers. I had probably almost half of my to-go container full of pasta.
The recipe calls for heavy cream, but I used soy milk from my fridge and it turned out all right, so you could get skim milk from Brooks too.
I also had my own fresh garlic, dried oregano, parmesan cheese, tomatoes, olive oil and salt and pepper.
If you get the pasta from Brooks already cooked, you can skip the step of cooking your own pasta and trying to time everything correctly.
The original recipe calls for a can of whole tomatoes crushed with your hands. I used fresh tomatoes, cutting off the tops and crushing them myself.
Cut up the rest of your vegetables (onions, garlic, spinach, etc.) before heating anything to allow a smooth cooking process.
Heat oil on a large skillet over low-medium heat, then add the onion. After three to five minutes, add in the garlic.
Next, add your crushed tomatoes and some dried oregano and cook for at least 10 minutes.
Pour in your milk and cook for another five minutes. Season with salt and pepper and any other spices you’d like, such as more oregano or paprika.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Next, add the rest of the vegetables or pre-cooked meat to the tomato sauce. In this case, I used spinach, broccoli and chicken.
Once cooked and wilted, in about three to five minutes add the pasta to the skillet. Toss it around and let the pasta reheat.
Very carefully, pour the mixture into a baking dish. Grate parmesan cheese, or whatever kind you can find, on top.
Bake about 20 minutes until browned.
While it’s cooling, make some garlic bread. All you need is garlic powder and butter and bread.
It only takes about five minutes on a greased baking sheet in the oven.
Then eat it while it’s out.
This meal feeds at least four people or can provide you leftover meals.