Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Recipe: Pasta Bake

Oh, hi.  It's been a while.  Between planning my wedding and stressing about grad school, I managed to neglect my poor little blog.  My bad.  I still love cooking, and clearly love eating, so the other day I whipped this bad Larry up.  I borrowed pieces of this recipe from my good friend Giada...yeah we're on a first name basis.  It's a great meal.  It lasts a week.  I kind of had a love/hate relationship with it by day 3.  Like I literally froze half and still had enough for a 9x13 casserole dish.  Yeah.  Make this for your next potluck or family event (hi Mother's Day dinner.)  The key here is to use freshly grated Fontina.  Don't skimp on this step!  It's almost a life-changing cheese...real talk.

  • 2 red peppers, cored and cut into 1-inch wide strips
  • 2 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • about a 1/2 package of slice mushrooms, diced
  • 1 small onion, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound whole-wheat penne pasta
  • 3 cups marinara sauce (that's about 1.5 jars of store bought...again, my fav. is Barilla Arribiata)
  • 1 cup grated fontina cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated smoked mozzarella (I used regular shredded mozz)
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed (that's one 8 oz. bag)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/3 cup for topping (I went semi-homemade here and used 4C shredded parm in the jar...cares)
  • s&p

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
On a baking sheet, toss the peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, and onions with olive oil, salt, 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. It will still be kind of hard.  It's fine.  It's gonna cook more in the oven.
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. Using a wooden spoon, gently mix, until all the pasta is coated with the sauce and the ingredients are combined.

this is pre-baked.  SO. MUCH. PASTA.
Pour the pasta into a greased 9 by 13-inch pan. Top with the remaining 1/3 cup Parmesan. Bake until top is golden and cheese melts, about 25 minutes.