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Four Cheese Marinara Pasta is baked in a robust Vero Gusto® Heritage Marinara sauce and topped with 2 kinds of cheese. Using Vero Gusto® sauce made the preparation for this meal so easy and the taste is exceptional. This is perfect for a quick weekday meal or for a potluck dinner.
It’s time to get cozy with the oven with the upcoming cooler weather season arriving soon! With that in mind, I wanted to share a recipe for an easy-to-make Baked Four-Cheese Marinara Pasta dinner with Vero Gusto® Heritage Marinara sauce by Barilla®. This is perfect when you want something warm and comforting without any meat. All this pasta dish requires is simple ingredients like ricotta, and cottage cheese as well as the star of the dish, Vero Gusto® Heritage Marinara. You can also add some easy-to-source additions too. These ingredients bake until bubbly and produce a tasty, cheesy dish your family is sure to love.
Is Marinara the Same as Pasta Sauce?
A common misconception is that marinara and pasta sauce are interchangeable. They’re not! Marinara is a tomato-based sauce, whereas a pasta sauce can be made with any type of liquid base (tomato, cream, or meat). Marinara sauce originated in Naples, Italy. The name comes from the word “Marinaro,” which means sailor or seaman. It is made with tomatoes, olive oil, and garlic. Marinara sauce is extremely versatile and can be used in dishes like lasagna, pasta, eggs, and even served with favorites like mozzarella sticks or garlic bread. Barilla® has carefully crafted its Vero Gusto® Heritage Marinara sauce to taste just like a homemade sauce, making it our favorite choice!
Vero Gusto® Heritage Marinara Sauce
But, like everything, not all marinara sauces are created equally. Vero Gusto® by Barilla® is the best because the sauces are made in Parma, Italy with the finest regional ingredients. The sauces contain no artificial ingredients, added water, sugar, or preservatives. The Vero Gusto® sauce is made with a process called tomato passata. This is a process, originated in Italy, that strains all seeds and skins so only the most flavorful parts of the tomatoes. The sauces are also gluten-free, and are Non-GMO Project verified! Most importantly, they taste amazing!! We love their Heritage Marinara which we conveniently purchase at our local Shaw’s Supermarket.
This sauce tastes so fresh, is thick, hearty, and really made our dish POP nicely. It complemented the creamy cheese and provided a lovely flavor that is best described using the word: delicious!
This sauce tastes so fresh, is thick, hearty, and really made our dish POP nicely. It complemented the creamy cheese and provided a lovely flavor that is best described using the word: perfecto.
How to Make Four-Cheese Marinara Pasta
Making Four-Cheese Marinara Pasta is easy and can be made less caloric by using low-fat/fat-free cheeses. We used Low-fat ricotta cheese, fat-free cottage cheese, 2 tablespoons of Parmesan Cheese, and 8 ounces of reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese. Making these small changes didn’t affect the outcome of our dish and helped to make our dish more wholesome. We also used Barilla® Farfalle Pasta, but you can use penne, shells, or your favorite shape.
To start, mix the cottage, and ricotta cheese with one egg, Italian spices, fresh thyme, dry onion, and freshly cracked black pepper.
Line the bottom of an 11″ x 13″ deep-walled baking dish with half the jar of Vero Gusto® Heritage Marinara Sauce. Add half the cheese mixture, and spread. Mix in the al dente farfalle with the remaining cheese mixture. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of freshly grated Parmesan over the top along with 6 ounces of freshly shredded, reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese. Bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees F. uncovered. Top with fresh thyme and enjoy a serving warmed.
What to Serve with Four-Cheese Pasta
This dish is hearty and comforting and goes best with a nice side salad of greens, or perhaps some garlic bread. Light oil and vinegar-based dressing won’t be too heavy or add too many extra calories.
How to Store this Dish
This dish will last for up to 4 days in the refrigerator when stored properly in an airtight container. Additionally, it can be frozen for consumption at a later time.
To freeze this meal, consider baking it in an aluminum disposable pan with a lid. This makes freezing and reheating a breeze. Allow the dish to cool completely before placing a cover on it, and wrapping it in multiple layers of foil and plastic wrap. Freeze for up to 3 months. To cook, thaw the dish in the refrigerator. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes uncovered or until warm throughout.
Four-Cheese Marinara Pasta Bake
- 11" x 13" deep-walled baking dish
- large mixing bowl
- Wooden Spoon
- Measuring Cups & spoons
- oven (adjusted to the center rack position)
- 8 ounces farfalle pasta cooked al dente
- 20 ounces Vero Gusto® Heritage Marinara Sauce
- 3 ounces tomato paste
- 1 large egg
- 16 ounces reduced fat ricotta cheese
- 16 ounces fat-free cottage cheese
- 2 tablespoons freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
- 6 ounces reduced-fat sharp white cheddar
- ½ teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dry minced onion
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- In a large bowl, add the ricotta, and cottage cheese. Mix in the tomato paste, egg, and spices; mix well to combine.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, and cook pasta until al dente. Drain pasta.
- Line the bottom of the baking dish with 10 ounces of marinara and spread to coat the bottom of the pan. Add half the cheese mixture and spread. Add the al dente pasta noodles and combine with the rest of the cheese mixture.
- Top with parmesan cheese, and reduced-fat cheddar cheese. Bake for 20 minutes at 375°F. or until cheese is bubbly. Top with fresh thyme. Serve warm.