Cheesy Bread and Basil Casserole

I’ve come to realize that most people who read food blogs (or cook books) and do everything but test the recipes actually have a valid reason for not doing so. a.  The ingredients are way too hard to get ahold of.  I mean, who eats nutritional yeast?!  Oh yeah.  I do.

b.  The recipe is much too tedious to follow

c.  The dish just doesn’t look that exciting

d.  You can’t follow a recipe even if it meant your life because you HAVE TO tweak it to your own liking—aka, pride.

e.  You just want to look at pretty food pictures and that’s that!

I’m kind of guilty for all of these myself…I can hardly follow a recipe anymore because of my rebellious “I need to tweak that muffin” for no reason.  On the other hand, I also have to use crazy ingredients because without said ingredients the recipe isn’t special anymore!  But all that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Sound oddly familiar?  Winking smile

Thankfully I was able to compensate for my sinful ways the other day, by coming up with the easiest and possibly the most practical recipe you could imagine.

You see, I always ALWAYS seem to have leftover pasta sauce in the freezer begging to be used.  I usually end up eating it with spinach for lunch, and although it’s tasty enough, it’s definitely far from exciting.

Now neither of us has an excuse for not coming up with an easy recipe and for not following it.   Awesome!

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Cheesy Bread & Basil Casserole

This recipe can easily be made gluten free by using your favorite gf bread.  The pasta sauce can either be with or without meat for a vegetarian version.  Just make sure it’s tomato based.

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 5 C cubed loaf bread (I used La Brea brand whole grain)
  • 1/2 lb. sliced mozzarella
  • 2 TBSP chopped fresh basil
  • 4 C leftover tomato pasta sauce (I used sauce with lean ground beef)
  • oil spray for baking dish

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 F degrees.  Spray the baking dish with oil and spread the bread cubes around.
  2. Sprinkle 1 TBSP of basil on bread and evenly spread out half of the mozzarella on top.
  3. Pour the sauce on everything and make sure it’s evenly drenched with sauce.  Place the remaining mozzarella and sprinkle with the leftover basil.
  4. Cover the dish with foil and bake for approximately 28-30 minutes.  Then uncover and bake for 4 more minutes.  Serve while hot!

April 10-2013 (5 of 10)-3

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This is a great alternative to good ol’ pasta!  It’s not quite lasagna (well, really far from it actually) and it’s not regular noodles.  Voila!  You used up leftovers and only had to get a few basic ingredients.

PS:  This was by far one of the most frustrating photo sessions as of late since the sunlight was quickly escaping from my house.  Selah started to fuss and I was running out of time, haha!  Hopefully it depicts the deliciousness the food was.

Which one of those points from a-e are you guilty of?

What’s your favorite Italian dish?

-gnocchi and lasagna!

How do you remedy for the lack of lighting when you take photos?  Or when the sun starts to disappear so quickly?

Love,

Ellie <33