1.02.2014

Easy Red and White Pasta Bake


I love seeing everyone make their New Year's resolutions list, setting new goals, and focusing on new lifestyle changes along the way. Improving oneself isn't always easy, and usually there's a habit or two to reprogram to make it all possible. The way I've found my way around this hurdle is by setting sub goals within the goals, and doing a dry-run before the new year begins. 

Hear me out. It has worked pretty well for our little family. I set a goal, listing the what (what the goal is), the when (if you don't have a set time each day or timetable to measure that goal, there's really no point), the how (what you're specifically going to do each day or within that timetable to achieve that goal), and lastly the why (why do you want this change to happen?). 

For instance:
If your goal is to exercise daily (M-Sa), here's the process:
what: Get in the habit of exercising daily. 
when: Every morning from 7-7:40am. 
how: At the gym in our apartment complex if it's cold outside, run outside if it's warm, or do a 30-minute cardio exercise video in the apartment. Set alarm and place phone across the room on full volume on laid-out exercise clothes. 
why: I want to be healthy - it makes me feel happy and have a better day, too, when I exercise. I'd also like to run another race this year. 

Much more planning than just: I'm going to work out this year. The specifics are where the real action is. 

Ryan and I set our goals/resolutions together each year together. This year, we were on the way home from a trip to my grandma's home in Mendon, Utah. We went through the goals we want to achieve as a family, but also talked about our own goals we want to achieve this year as individuals. One by one, we went through the what, when, how, and why of each one. They're on a spreadsheet on my phone, ready to go.

For my resolutions, I like to do a dry run the week before the new year begins. So, without fail, I kept with my goals this past week! It was like magic, and I can already see the improvement in my life because of them. If I stick to them this entire year, I think my little family, as well as my own life will be greatly blessed. Goals are fun that way, right? Let's do this. 

- - - -

This little pasta dish is one of those too-easy-to-even-be-possible dinners. My Sundays are usually swamped, so I like to either have something simmering in the crock pot when we get home from church, or make a 9x13 of something on Saturday that can easily be reheated. This recipe is from a lady in my mother-in-law's neighborhood - maybe you've heard of her? Real Mom Kitchen! Ruth gifted me a signed copy of Ms. Real Mom's cookbook, and I was eager to try a few recipes out this week. This was a winner. It was simple, delicious, didn't break the bank (we already had pasta in the pantry, parmesan cheese, and a little leftover mozzarella), and made a TON. Holy smokes, you can feed a fleet with this one. 

Also, normally I'm 100% against jarred alfredo sauce - mostly because it smells like death, and you can make a batch a million times better at home. But for the sake of staying-true-to-the-recipe, I bought a jar of alfredo sauce and followed what she said. It turned out great! Have a busy day coming up? Put this one on the menu. 

xo, 
blondie

Easy Red and White Pasta Bake 
packs an entire 9x13

ingredients:
4 cups of small pasta, we had macaroni on hand, but penne would have been beautiful
15oz jar of alfredo sauce
24oz jar of marinara sauce 
2 C shredded mozzarella cheese
1 C shredded parmesan cheese + more for sprinkling
2-3 T chopped fresh basil for sprinkling

method:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside. 
2. In a large pot of salted water, cook small pasta according to directions on package. Drain. 
3. While pasta is boiling, combine alfredo sauce, marinara sauce, 1 1/2 C shredded mozzarella, and 1 C parm in a large mixing bowl. 
4. Pour cooked and drained pasta over mixture and stir until all the noodles have been coated in that blessed pink sauce. 
5. Pour smothered noodles into your prepared pan - try to even out the layer with a spatula. Top with remaining 1/2 C mozzarella, sprinkle of parm, and basil. Cover and bake for 25 minutes. Remove cover, bake for another 5 minutes or until top is melted and slightly crispy. 

recipe adapted from: real mom kitchen

2 comments:

  1. I love this and now my mouth is watering. I cant have dairy since i am nursing and my baby gets ezcema from dairy. I wonder if goat cheese would work for this. I can do goat cheese okay. Love your goals.

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  2. My weekends lately have been crazy. I love that I can make a big batch of this and have leftovers!

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