Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Ranch-Pesto Pasta Bake

Ranch dressing? Good. Pesto? Good. Pasta coated in a sauce of the two? Great!

You would think this would be over-the-top decadent, but it's actually a good way. I liked the light flavor that didn't make me feel guilty or too indulgent. I mean, it's less than a cup of sauce spread out over a pound of pasta. It's just the right ratio and not too "saucy."

The original recipe (from Mostly Homemade Mom) called for rigatoni, but I had spaghetti, so I just went with that. I changed the recipe to just use a pound of whatever you prefer. Don't leave out the tomatoes...they provide a nice pop of tartness.

This will definitely make a repeat appearance at my house, but I think I'll try it next time with hot Italian sausage. 

Printable recipe

1 pound pasta, cooked and drained
1/2 cup Ranch dressing
1/4 cup pesto
28-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained well
2 cups Mozzarella cheese, divided

Stir together pasta, Ranch dressing, pesto, tomatoes,  and 1 cup cheese. Pour into greased baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 5 additional minutes.