Garlicky Chicken Penne Pasta Bake

This was a great weeknight dinner! I am a sucker for cheesy pasta bakes (if you have visited my Pinterest Boards, you may have noticed!) - I just love the convenience of everything in one pan, and all those flavors mixing and matching into endless combinations!
I saw this one when I was browsing through my daily blog feed and saved it immediately as a "must try soon". I'm so glad we did! We all really enjoyed this recipe, and though I usually leave some food on my plate, I didn't this time. It was a little strange in that there were some bites that were very peppery, but most were not. I'm going to attribute that to either those few bites being the ones with the crushed red pepper flakes, or perhaps I didn't mix in the seasonings as thoroughly as I should have?? Either way, it was a great dinner and we all really enjoyed it!!
We served this with a crisp Caesar salad and some garlicky Texas toast and all gave this one a thumbs up.

Garlicky Chicken Penne Pasta Bake adapted from Life on Food
12 ounces penne pasta (I used whole wheat)
1 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg
3 cloves garlic, minced
12 oz package frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and strained
Pinch of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasonings
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper (if desired)
Salt and black pepper, to taste (I used 1/8 tsp pepper, and 1/4 tsp salt)
2 cups marinara sauce
2 -3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Cook the pasta according to instructions for al dente (10 minutes works well). Drain and set aside.
  3. In a bowl, combine the cottage cheese, parmesan, and egg. Stir until smooth. Add the garlic, broccoli, nutmeg, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper.
  4. Put half of the pasta into the prepared baking dish and top with half of the marinara sauce. Spoon all of the broccoli-cheese mixture on top of the sauce in an even layer. Sprinkle 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese over the mixture. Cover with the remaining pasta and the remaining sauce. Top with the remaining mozzarella cheese.
  5. 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 and cook until cheese starts to brown, about 3 more minutes. Serve warm.


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