Monday 16 July 2012

Baked Pasta with Marinara Sauce

"What's for dinner mom ?" This is a perennial question that I am forever faced with in my house. Somehow, I never remember myself to be ever this fussy about food as a kid. (But again, maybe my mom would have a different story to tell !!). So, "Hats off" to all the super-moms out there, who generate one yummy dish after another to keep their brood happy and satisfied, fulfilling all their demands just to see that one little smile on their face. As a mother, its a real pleasure to do all this for your kids but believe me it is no easy task.
One thing that never fails me is pasta - which thankfully everyone enjoys !!. It is a staple dish for dinner in my house making it a kind of challenge to think of different ways to make the poor old boring pasta. This time, I made it with the traditional Italian marinara sauce (its quite like the Ragu sauce available in the market) tossed with loads of mozzarella cheese which indeed had everyone asking for seconds.

2 medium onions, sliced thinly
2 capsicums, sliced thinly
2 cups tomatoes, finely chopped
1/2 cup tomato ketchup
2 tbsp garlic, chopped finely
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sugar
3 tbsp fresh cream
1/4 tsp dried parsely
1/4 tsp dried oregano 
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 cups pasta, boiled
olives, pitted and halved
100 gms, mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes
2 tbsp olive oil

To make the Marinara Sauce
Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onions. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes.
Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, minced garlic, sugar, garlic powder, salt, oregano and ground black pepper. 
 Bring to a boil.
Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the capsicum and cook for another minute.
When the tomato sauce is reduced and sweet, season with salt and  pepper. You can leave the sauce chunky or you can puree it. 
Now that you have the Marinara sauce ready,(I usually make a large batch of this sauce and put it away in the freezer to use for my pastas and on the pizzas.) take about a cup of the prepared sauce and toss in the chunks of mozzarella cheese, halved olives and the boiled pasta until well combined.
Turn off the heat. Transfer the pasta to a baking dish and bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 25 - 30 minutes until golden, crisp and bubbly.
Serve hot with garlic bread.


  1. looks absolutely delicious!

  2. pasta looks delish, baked pasta is my fav!
    hope we can follow each other :)

  3. Sure Ashy. Will be stopping by your blog.