Now that it’s fall and it’s starting to get dark earlier, I am in full comfort food-craving mode. All I can think about is rich, satisfying, warm meals that make me feel cozy and smell amazing while they’re cooking. There’s something so special about eating a comforting meal with a glass of wine and your loved ones after work. Maybe even – gasp- in front of the TV, with a blanket on your lap. Heaven. Hey, we eat at the table most of the time, so a little TV time is an indulgence once in a while.
This creamy tomato pasta bake with fresh mozzarella is one of those meals that you think about all day at work before you even make it because you know it’s going to be so good. It’s rich, flavorful, and oh-so-cozy. Just writing about this meal makes me want to make it again.
1 lb. rigatoni pasta
2 c. marinara sauce
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 c. heavy whipping cream
8 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced
¼ c. Parmesan cheese, grated
2 c. chopped tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
2 tsp. fresh oregano, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and place the pasta in a large baking dish.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook the onions for about 5 minutes, or until they are soft and lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute. Add the marinara sauce, tomato paste, and fresh tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes become soft, about 6-7 minutes. Add cream and season with salt and pepper. Stir, and heat through quickly.
Pour the sauce into the baking dish with the pasta and mix thoroughly so that the sauce and pasta are well combined. Top with mozzarella slices and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is lightly browned and bubbly. Top with fresh oregano, serve, and enjoy!