CHEESY RIGATONI SKILLET WITH MUSHROOMS AND SPINACH
I had a different recipe for today, but what? In the end, I decided that I wanted to eat comfort food. The Cheesy Rigatoni Skillet is another version of my favorite easy comfort food: pasta sauce, cheese, and other vegetables I can incorporate into the recipe. I’ve cooked similar recipes before, and I decided why not record another. Today’s an eastern version of lasagna in a skillet that includes mushrooms and spinach.
SUBSTITUTION FOR MUSHROOMS
Aren’t you a fan of spinach or mushrooms? It’s not a problem. Cook some Italian sausage in the skillet and use it for or in place of the mushrooms and spinach. The Cheesy Rigatoni Skillet is highly adaptable! Thanks, because slices of mushrooms were about the exact cost as whole mushrooms, and with the ease of using My garlic presses, there was ZERO choosing to make to prepare this recipe. Even if I claim it, it’s an easy win for a meal. Okay, so I added chopped parsley to the photos, but I would not have if I weren’t a food blogger whose livelihood relied on gorgeous pictures.
Two tablespoons olive oil ($0.26)
Three cloves of garlic, chopped ($0.24)
8 oz mushrooms, sliced ($1.99)
24 oz pasta sauce (your favorite) ($1.49)
1/4 lb fresh spinach ($1.50)
8 oz rigatoni ($0.84)
8 oz of whole dairy ricotta ($1.25)
Two tablespoons crushed Parmesan ($0.20)
1 cup shredded mozzarella ($0.94)
Salt and Pepper to your taste ($0.05)
Make a large pot of water up to the temperature for rigatoni. After boiling, add the pasta and cook until it is tender. Then drain the pasta in a colander, and keep it aside until needed.
After preparing the pasta, start the sauce. Place the minced garlic and olive oil in a pan and cook for approximately one minute at medium-high heat or until the garlic begins to smell. Add the mushrooms sliced with some salt and pepper and cook until they have released their water and start to brown around the edges (about 5 to 7 minutes).
Pour the sauce into the skillet. Stir the sauce while it cooks by melting any browned pieces accumulated on the pan’s surface. Once the sauce has been heated enough, addd the spinach and stir it in a while, cooking untilith has softened (about 5 minutes).
Once the rigatoni is cooked and rinsed, mix it with the sauce and vegetables back into the pot, and allow it to boil.
Mix the ricotta with Parmesan and a dash of pepper and salt in a small bowl. The ricotta mixture should be added to the skillet in small dollops on top. Then gently fold the ricotta mixture into the pasta. Leave it at the halfway point, ensuring there are pockets of ricotta in your sauce and the pasta.
Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella over the pasta, put a lid on the skillet, and allow it to cook on low until the cheese has melted. If you’d like the cheese to caramelize slightly,, place it in the broiler or oven (without the lid) and monitor it closely until you see a few brown spots. Serve it hot.