Food & Recipes

Bad Yogi Chef: Easy Pasta Bake

“What in the world am I going to eat the rest of the week…?”

You hate cooking. You’re too busy to actually look up recipes and then spend time trying to bring them to life. You’re afraid of your oven. You have no idea what a colander is. Trust me, I am your kindred spirit. As the daughter of an Italian mother, I’ve always brought dishonor to the family with my lack of culinary prowess.

While my fear of the oven hasn’t gone away, I do feel a bit more confident in the kitchen these days thanks to one very patient boyfriend, my unofficial cooking teacher. Don’t misunderstand me— I am not a natural chef. Easy recipes are still the name of my game. We’ve got full time jobs, yoga class after work, friends, a social life. Ain’t nobody got time to be the next Julia Childs.

But we’ve got to eat, right? Eating’s our favorite. So here we are.

This week, I had a friend come over for dinner and wanted to make something easy but delicious. Bonus points if there would be leftovers to last for a few days. Something I came up with off the top of my head was a baked pasta dish. I can hear you freaking out—don’t worry, I’ve burned pasta before, too. You can do this.

I looked up some recipes on Pinterest, and found that I still preferred mine to those ‘fancy’ dishes. Who are these people that have all this pare time to just try out new recipes and then Pinterest them? Show offs, that’s who they are. I’m not here for it. In the end, my friend ended up loving the dish and it took about 40 minutes to make. 25 of those minutes were the dish just sitting in the oven—so you’re good.

Let’s get started.

What You’ll Need

  • A large sauce pot
  • A medium frying pan
  • A baking dish
  • A colander (translation: pasta strainer)



  • 1 box of rigatoni (your choice of pasta! I would not recommend spaghetti.)
  • 1 pack of Italian sausages
  • 1 jar of pasta sauce
  • 1 package of Italian cheese blend
  • Olive oil

There’s lots of room to get creative here, if you’re into that. If you want to be a bit healthier, substitute regular pasta for whole wheat. If you don’t eat meat, take the sausage out of the equation. You can make your own sauce, too, but who has time for that?


  1. Fill your large sauce pot up about ¾ of the way with water. Sprinkle some olive oil into the water, cover the pot, and turn your burner to high heat.
  1. Wait until the water starts bubbling violently, then empty the box of pasta in. Stir every few minutes. Most pasta boxes will tell you how long to cook the pasta for – usually between 8-10 minutes. Set a timer! iPhones are your friend.
  1. On your cutting board, chop up sausage into medium sized pieces.
  1. Drizzle olive oil and canola oil (burns slower when combined) into the frying pan. Turn on medium heat.
  1. Toss sausage pieces into the pan and let them cook through. (You want no pink to be showing. You’ll need to turn the pieces over a few times.)
  1. Drain the oil from the pan.
  1. When pasta is finished cooking, dump it into your colander in your sink. Take strained pasta and put it back in the large sauce pot. Throw in your jar of sauce and cooked sausage and mix it up.
  1. Pour pasta & sausage combination into your baking dish. Top with cheese.
  1. Bake for 25 minutes on 375 F.



Voila! It’s easy and you’ll have leftovers for days. You totally nailed it. Happy eating, Bad Yogis.


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1 Comment

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    May 1, 2016 at 11:09 pm

    Great article! Clearly written and easy to follow. Thanks for posting Alex Campanelli!

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