Whenever I go to a restaurant, I have “my meal”. You know, the one you get every time you go to there. It doesn’t even really matter what restaurant, if I’ve been there, I know what I’m getting. Not that I doubt that their other food is great, I just know I won’t be disappointed.
A few years ago, Outback had this amazing pasta on their menu. It had penne, chicken, tasso ham (I still to this day don’t really know what this is, but it was amazing) mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, alfredo sauce, and LOTS of cheese. Amazing.
Well, one day we went to Outback, and it was nowhere to be found on their menu! I was really bummed out, and knew I had to figure out how to make it myself. I decided to use bowtie pasta, because I feel like it holds the sauce better and cut out the mushrooms. The recipe below doesn’t have any meat, just because we didn’t have any on hand, but would be really good with chicken or shrimp! I’ve made this for myself more times than I can count, but I made it for my husband for the first time last week and he LOVED it. It’s a great, easy recipe for when you don’t feel like spending a lot of time in the kitchen!
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
3 cups bowtie pasta
1/4 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 – 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (depending on your preference)*
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese( I really like the Kraft Triple Cheddar)
3/4 cup Alfredo sauce
3 tbsp Philadelphia garden vegetable cream cheese
salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 350.
Bring 2 quarts (8 cups) of water to a boil.
Once water is boiling, add 3 cups of bowtie pasta.
While pasta is cooking, heat small skillet over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil and swirl to coat. Add 1/4 cup of diced onion. Season with freshly ground black pepper and sea salt.
Cook onions until golden brown, 3-5 minutes. Add in garlic and cook for another 30-45 seconds. Remove pan from heat.
Cook pasta until al dente, then drain. Remove from heat and add in 3/4 cup of alfredo sauce & 3 tablespoons garden vegetable cream cheese. Stir together and allow the heat from the pasta to melt the cream cheese. Once pasta is coated, add onions, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, Parmesan cheese & 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese. Mix together and place in a prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with another 1/4 cup of shredded cheese.
Bake for 15 – 20 minutes at 350, until cheese is golden brown. Let cool about 5 minutes, then serve!
*I typically buy the kind that come in a jar(pictured above) and are packed in oil. They come whole or julienne, so if you use the whole ones, just be sure to chop them up before adding to the dish.
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