Friday, September 23, 2011

Fall Cravings

Apparently there is a shortage.

A pumpkin shortage.

I was a little slow on the uptake, which is especially unfortunate since I have been craving the tastes of fall wayyy before today.  Nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice... *sigh*

To satisfy this craving I searched everywhere for canned pumpkin.  Trader Joes, Wegmans, everywhere!  The only thing in the stores were cans of the pumpkin pie filling, filled with extra sugar and who knows what!  I ended up at Giant today after work, and the shelves were empty...except for this
One can of pumpkin. 
One dented can of pumpkin.  
But I was desperate and bought it anyways.  You bet that I will be using it this weekend. ; )

P.S.  I also got this to satisfy the pumpkin craving
So on to dinner---

Since I couldn't experience fall through pumpkin (non-latte/beer form!), a nice, cozy dinner was the second best!  I was craving something hearty, yet easy to make after a long day at work.

Marinara Pasta Bake
1/2 cup of marinara sauce (I used Chelsea's recipe!)
1/4 cup chopped mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped mozzarella
handful of basil, thinly sliced
1 cup of cooked pasta
parmesan cheese, optional

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Cook pasta according to the directions (subtract 2 minutes from the cooking time so it won't overcook in the oven!).  Meanwhile, prepare and chop ingredients.

After pasta is cooked, pour into a baking dish.  Pour sauce, mushrooms, mozzarella, and basil in the dish as well.  Mix well.
Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted.  Grate parmesan cheese on top and enjoy!!!
Look at the cheese factor on this dish!! It is so savory and comforting, and so easy to boot!  The basil adds hints of freshness to the dish as well.  The mushrooms make it a tad bit filling, and you can always add sausage or hamburger as another option! The pasta is cooked perfectly, and it is so filling that all you need is a side salad and the meal is finished in less than 20 minutes!
One more cheese shot ;)
Ok last one :)

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