What's more comforting than a delicious pasta dish? If I find out, I'll let you know. This Bell Pepper and Bacon Pasta Bake would be sure welcomed on a blustery cold evening. Take a look and see how it comes together.
It's Friday and I am always thrilled to be heading into the weekend. Although I don't work outside our home, the weekends still have a different vibe and I usually treat myself to working less, having a few glasses of wine (errr, or more), watching movies, taking time to cook something special and just having more time for ME!
And we're heading into this weekend with a bit of a special occasion. It's our 18th year wedding anniversary. We deserve a badge of something. Not sure what, but there's got to be something out there. Earlier today I phrased marriage as "putting up with each other". Yea, I know there's a whole lot more. But I'm happy to be putting up with Mike. So happy anniversary to us and putting up with many more years to come....lol.
One of the things he's learned to put up with is my constant experimental cooking! Good or bad, he'll eat it all. Mind you over the years, I've learned what to stay away from. As for me, I've learned to put with never being cooked for....haha! It's a good thing I don't mind the kitchen.
So, on the topic of kitchens, this was one of the dishes we had last weekend. It was a deliciously warming dish that was so welcomed on a very rainy Saturday.
Get all your ingredients ready for the Pasta dish
Don't fresh ingredients always look so good? I never take for granted the abundance of fresh ingredients available to us at great prices. We are lucky. But if you find fresh peppers and basil are out of your price range, you can always use frozen vegetables and dried basil. Yes, fresh is better, but you can pretty much substitute anything. So, don't be shy to use stuff from the freezer to feed your family.
Time to get cooking
Finely dice up all the vegetables and crush the garlic.
Heat the oil in a large skillet set over high heat. Add the garlic and the peppers and onions. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes or until they are really soft.
Push the vegetables to one side of the pan and add the chopped tomatoes and the bacon. Cook this for about a further 5 minutes. Stir well to incorporate.
Get your fresh basil chopped if you are using it.
Add all the seasonings and herbs to the pan and stir well. Cook for about 2 - 3 minutes to infuse the flavours and remove from heat.
Cooking pasta doesn't require much explanation. Cook the pasta while the vegetables are cooking to save time. Add the pasta and the vegetables to an 8 inch deep sided casserole dish.
Add the Marinara Sauce and stir well. Okay, so in this recipe I used Marinara Sauce that I already had made earlier. If you've never checked out the Marinara Sauce post, head over and take a look. If this is too much like hard work for you, pop a lid on your favourite jar of Marinara Sauce. Nobody will notice. But if you are into making sauces and canning things, get the Marinara Sauce recipe and keep it in mind for getting organized for future cooking. Or a storm, you just never know....ha!
Finally, top it off with the mozzarella and Parmesan mixed together. Bake in a preheated 375 F degrees oven for about 25 minutes.
And there you have it, The Bell Pepper and Bacon Pasta Bake. It was such an easy dish to make and delivered high on flavour. The bacon added a great touch of smokiness. I didn't add much, it was just four strips. But by all means, add as much as you would like.
We served this just on it's own as it was a meal in itself. But I think it would also go great as a side dish to some basic chicken dishes. Here's a few suggestions to get you going...
Italian Style Stuffed Chicken
Stuffed Chicken Breast with Caramelized Onions and Spinach
Mozzarella and Tomato Skillet Chicken
Oven Roasted Turkey Parmesan
Don't see anything on that list that you fancy? Have a look around the blog for more inspiration of things you might like.
If you love pasta, like we do, why not check out the Pasta & Pizza section on the blog. There are so many other great dishes over there. And don't overlook the ugly ones!!! In the early days of writing recipes, I didn't often get it right with photography. So, there are some pretty fantastic dishes there screaming out for a makeover. If I only had more time, I'd redo all of them. So much cooking, so little time.
And at the moment, free time is at an all time low. That new site of mine, is a time sucker for sure. It's still a blank page, but I'm slowly starting to understand more and more. I will get there and I will be on line sometime this decade...haha! But hopefully, in the next month. We'll have to see. For now, Julia's Cuisine will still be living it large here and I hope you get a chance to come back whenever you're feeling hungry.
And that folks sums up today and this tasty dish. I'm off to figure out what we'll do to celebrate our anniversary. Most years, I cook. I know, I know, I know...not much of an anniversary right? Well, to be honest, I do enjoy cooking most of the time. I can open a bottle of wine, put on some music and even get dolled up! It's just as good as going out. Insert sarcasm. For now tonight's an open book. Maybe we'll go wild and leave the house.
Thanks for stopping by today and I hope you make it back real soon. Have a great weekend and if you have someone special in your life, put up with them the best you can!
Bell Pepper & Bacon Pasta Bake
Serves 4 / Prep time: 15 minutes / Cook time: 45 minutes
1/2 lb/250 Grams Penne pasta
1 Red pepper, finely died
1 Yellow pepper, finely diced
1 Green Pepper, finely diced
1 Small onion, finely diced
1 Tomato, finely diced
4 Strips bacon, roughly chopped
3 Cups/720 ml Marinara Sauce
1 1/2 Cups/175 grams mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 Cup/25 grams parmesan cheese, grated
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 Garlic cloves, crushed
1 Teaspoon black pepper
1 Teaspoon dried oregano
Small bunch fresh chopped basil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Have ready an 8 inch round deep sided baking dish.
Cook pasta according to package. Drain and set aside.
In a large skillet set over medium to high heat, add the olive oil and garlic. Stir for a minute. Add the peppers and onions. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes. Move the vegetables to the side of the pan and add the chopped tomatoes and bacon. Cook for about 5 - 7 minutes until the tomatoes are soft and bacon cooked. Stir well. Add the salt, pepper, oregano and basil. Stir well and leave to cook for a further minute or so.
Add the pasta, vegetable mixture and marinara sauce to the baking dish. Stir well. Top with cheese. Bake for around 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand about 5 minutes before serving.
Click the downloadable link below to print recipe!
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Hello and thanks for stopping by. I'm Julia and I have a passion for wholesome fresh food. Here you can find what's cooking in my Spanish kitchen, with inspiration from my Newfoundland roots!
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