I love when foods are baked in the oven. I am fairly certain that any and all comfort foods are baked for some period of time. Think about it: cookies, muffins, macaroni and cheese, lasagna, chili (not usually baked but I think it would be even more comforting), and many more I'm sure. I had just made some fresh tomato sauce and was really craving cheesy pasta. The only cheese I had on hand was cottage cheese and goat cheese so I worked with what I had. I also had kidney beans cooked up so the next day I finally got to make a dish similar to one I've looked at (ok, maybe drooled over) so many times on 101cookbooks that would use up more tomato sauce.
Tomato and Cheese Baked Macaroni
~1 cup whole-wheat macaroni
~1 cup tomato sauce
1/3 cup cottage cheese
crumbled goat cheese
I tried to make a layered baked pasta but the layers mixed a bit in the oven. I first added half the pasta to the bottom of the pyrex dish. I then added the cottage cheese and mixed it in. Add half the sauce. Add the rest of the macaroni and then the rest of the top. Crumble goat cheese on top. Baked in a 375 degree F oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until it is heated through and slightly crispy on top.
This wasn't the cheesiest pasta dish and would have worked better using mozzarella or ricotta cheese. But, it definitely hit the spot and was a great use for the fresh tomato sauce.
Tomato Baked Kidney Beans adapted from 101cookbooks.com
~1 cup of kidney beans
~1 cup of tomato sauce
1 small stalk of kale, leaves removed from tough stems
1/4 cup cottage cheese
crumbled goat cheese
Into a pyrex dish, add beans, sauce, kale and cottage cheese and mix together. Crumble goat cheese on top. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, until slightly crispy on top. I had the beans with some polenta chips that I made. I am still working on perfecting the polenta chips so I wont share a recipe for those quite yet.
This recipe deviated largely from that on 101cookbooks because I already had sauce made and I dislike cilantro greatly. I even made pesto to go on top (made with parsley) but I forgot about it and never added it on top as Heidi Swanson's recipe suggests.
I would love to one day make the Giant Chipotle White Bean Recipe with authenticity, but this version suited me fine....for now.
Tomorrow is my first official day as a Master's student, wish me luck :)