Monday, May 16, 2011

Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables

This one is new tonight, no transfers from the old blog.
I've been craving baked pasta all day today, but didn't want the calories of the cream and butter. I searched the internet and all the healthier versions of pasta called for weird things that I didn't have in my kitchen. Just as I was about to call it quits and begin experimenting...I found, this! It still ahs cheese so I don't think I can go super healthy but it's WAY better than most.

Dinner was inspired by a recipe I found on Food Network tonight. It has been heavily modified but I'll still give them the credit for the idea :)

  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and cut into large strips

  • 1/2 C Broccoli Florets, broken into bite sized pieces

  • 1/2 C sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 C Pearl Onions

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil(or enough to coat vegetables)

  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian herb mix or herbs de Provence(I didn't have these specific spices so I mixed basil, cilantro, garlic powder and seasoning salt together and made my own "herbs de Provence")

  • 1/2 pound penne pasta

  • 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce (store bought or homemade)

  • 1/2 cup grated mozzarella (smoked mozzarella would be great)

  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/3 cup for topping


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

On a baking sheet, toss the vegetables with olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and dried herbs. Roast until tender, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook for about 6 minutes. Since you will be cooking the pasta a second time in the oven, you want to make sure the inside is still hard. Drain and set aside.

In a large bowl, toss the drained pasta with the roasted vegetables, marinara sauce, cheeses, peas, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Gently mix, until all the pasta is coated with the sauce and the ingredients are combined.

Pour the pasta into a greased 9 by 13-inch pan. Top with the remaining 1/3 cup Parmesan and butter pieces. Bake until top is golden and cheese melts, about 20 minutes.

*my amounts are guesstimated as close as I could. My favorite part about this recipe is how easy it is to modify to your situation. Substitute whatever veggies you want/have; squash, zucchini, yellow onions, mushrooms, etc. and add fancy cheeses if you want. The amount of spices needs to coordinate with the amount of veggies, sauce and pasta but everything can be changed to your liking very easily.

This was delicious and very easy. It's definitely a repeat menu item, and that's saying something!!!

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