This is the kind of pasta that will win everyone over. This is the stuff of dreams right here. It all takes place in one dish. One dish for all this yummy goodness. I absolutely love one pot meals. How much easier can cooking get? Especially for the folks who are maybe not the most talented in the kitchen, or even for the people who have really busy schedules. One pot meals are the way to go. This Cheesy, Chorizo, Sun-dried Tomato, Olive & Caper Pasta bake will make you want to turn every meal into a one pot meal. It’s that good…
This recipe was adapted from one of my favourite bloggers: Half Baked Harvest. If you have not already checked out her blog, you need to. Every recipe she makes is golden! Her recipe can be found here. I fell in love with this recipe the first time I made it (about a year or so ago). Her original recipe calls for red wine, which really adds tons of flavour. I didn’t have any red wine on hand, so I used chicken broth instead. Still flavourful, still delicious!
With this version I made, I added some olives and capers for more flavour and also some chorizo sausage which totally takes this dish to a new level of deliciousness! It’s also nice to get a little extra protein, rather than eating just pasta and cheese. Speaking of cheese, I lightened things up slightly by using less cheese for this bake by using only parmesan, asiago and mozzarella.
Comfort Food; Pasta Bake
This pasta is definitely not on the lighter side, it is pure comfort food. Sometimes comfort food is what you need, and lately that is what my body has been communicating to me. Comfort food! This pasta is cheesy, saucy and pure yumminess. Don’t you just love when cheese turns that beautiful golden colour in the oven? It becomes the most bubbly, gooey and stringy at that point. It is a heavenly thing. One of these days I will attempt to do a cheese pull for the blog, so I can capture all that cheesy perfection.
Don’t sun-dried tomatoes make everything taste better? They are honestly one of my favourite ingredients to cook with. They just add SO much incredible flavour to dishes. This pasta bake is full of flavour because of them, and also due to all the other wonderful ingredients. I am looking forward to consuming lots of leftovers since this pasta bake will feed about 6 people (depending on the serving size). Leftovers for days! Wahoo!
I feel like this dish would be great to bring to a potluck or party since it’s pretty simple to make. It could easily be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge until ready to be cooked. This pasta bake is definitely be a crowd-pleaser, that’s for sure!
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Cheesy Chorizo Sun-dried Tomato, Olive & Caper Pasta Bake
- 28 oz can whole peeled san marzano tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, oil drained but reserved
- 1 10 ounce package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess liquid
- 6 chorizo sausages, casings removed
- 1/2 cup black olives, sliced
- 2-3 tbsp capers
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 cups asiago cheese grated
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese
- fresh parsley or basil chopped for garnish
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9×13 casserole dish.
- Remove chorizo from casings and using three of the sausages, cut each one up and roll into bite sized balls. With the remaining two sausages, break apart until it is ground.
- In a medium skillet with a bit of oil on med-high heat, toss in the sausages and just gently brown. You don’t want to cook them all the way through as they will cook in the oven. This is just to get a bit of browning on them. About 5 minutes. Set aside. (The ground chorizo will be used inside the pasta bake while the chorizo meatballs will go on top).
- Pour tomatoes, tomato paste, sun dried tomatoes, olives and capers into the casserole dish. Break apart the san marzano tomatoes with your hands to gently crush them. Add in the garlic, basil and oregano, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Combine everything.
- Place thawed spinach in with the mixture. Add in the parmesan and asiago cheese and ground chorizo. Add in the penne. Give everything a good toss.
- Add in the chicken broth and water and stir. Place pieces of mozzarella cheese on top.
- Cover with foil and bake for 40-45 minutes covered.
- After 45 minutes of cooking, remove from oven and top off the bake with the reserved chorizo meatballs. Add more cheese at this point (if desired). Broil for another 15 minutes
**I used little mozzarella balls dipped in olive oil for this bake, and I found that they worked perfectly and also added more flavour**