More than once I've been asked "What do you do on the farm?" And my standard reply is, "I feed the farmer." No, I don't drive a tractor. I don't help fix fences. I have manned the gate in the cattle pen when Daddy-O was cutting cows, but that was ages ago. There are many women, including some of our neighbors, who are handy with the farm equipment. I'm just not one of them.
So I thought before I lost the right to say I feed the farmer (and my place on the farm,) I'd better get something on the table. I was gone for nearly two weeks. Then he was busy all weekend helping with the 4H livestock show. The kitchen here has been "resting." It was time to crank up the oven again.
This is a favorite pasta dish that we haven't had in a while. Sometimes I look back through the recipe index on my blog and find recipes that have slipped out of the regular rotation. This one's back to stay.
BAKED BOWTIES with TOMATOES AND MOZZERALLA
3 cups (9 oz.) uncooked bowtie or penne pasta (measure--don't use more than it says)
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained (with basil, garlic & oregano this time)
2 cups Alfredo pasta sauce (I used Classico Four Cheese)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 handfuls baby spinach
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 2-quart baking dish with PAM. Cook and drain pasta as directed on package.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat tomatoes to boiling. Reduce heat to medium and cook uncovered for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until liquid is partially evaporated.
Put Alfredo sauce into a microwave-safe bowl and heat for about 90-seconds. Stir in shredded cheese. Heat another 30-seconds and stir until cheese melts.
Stir in spinach into hot tomatoes just to wilt it and then mix the tomato-spinach mixture into the alfredo sauce.
Put pasta in the baking dish and pour sauce over it. Stir gently to mix it all.
Bake uncovered, about 30 minutes, or until hot in center.
This is an all-time favorite for supper. It's also a great dish to take to someone. It's a simple dish. No strong flavors. It falls in the comfort food category. I have taken it baked and ready to eat. And I have taken it ready for them to bake, so that it's hot when they want to eat. Take this, along with a salad and maybe a dessert and they'll love you forever.
It still makes me smile when I remember a friend who stopped me at church a couple of weeks after I had dropped this meal off at their house after he'd had been sick. He gave me a hug and told me, "If I wasn't already married, I'd marry you!" He was totally teasing me (his grandchildren are the age of my daughters,) but I'm pretty sure he liked the pasta.