Lily loves pasta bake: pasta, tomato sauce, and cheese baked until the cheese at the top is a bit crispy. Unfortunately, this needs about 45min in the oven. But, just like with quesadillas, you can make it much faster by doing most of the heating in the microwave:
Combine leftover pasta, jarred tomato sauce, and grated cheese in a dish and that is safe for both the microwave and the oven. Put additional grated cheese on top.
Microwave until piping hot.
Broil for about two minutes, or until the cheese is browned and crispy. This goes very fast, and the window between “just right” and “burnt” is small.
It ends up almost identical to the oven-only version, with slightly more active time and far less wall time.
I wonder why I don’t see more recipes like this, which use the microwave for the “get things hot” phase before switching to a pan or oven for browning?
I forgot to take a picture before serving, but here’s what it looks like after Lily had two helpings: