I’ve been wanting to make an Italian dinner for a while now. I’m really not sure why I’ve had this craving, but it’s been lingering for about two weeks now. Tonight I finally gave in and made this baked penne with roasted vegetables. It took some time, especially because I made the marinara from scratch, but it turned out great! It serves eight, so it’s also great for company. If you have a mixed crowd, you could easily put some sliced Italian sausage on the side for more carnivorous guests.
2 red peppers, cored and cut into 1-in. wide strips
2 zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-in. segments
6 baby bella mushrooms, halved
1 red onion, peeled and sliced into 1-in. strips
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. salt, divided
2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 TBSP dried Italian herb mix
1 lb. whole-wheat penne pasta
3 c. homemade Classic Marinara
1 c. part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 c. grated Pecorino Romano, half reserved for top
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
2. On a baking sheet, toss the peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, and onions with olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and dried herbs. Roast until tender, about 15 minutes.
3. 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 in a colander.
4. In a large bowl, toss the drained pasta with the roasted vegetables, marinara sauce, cheeses, 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.
5. Pour the pasta into a greased 9 by 13-inch pan. Top with the remaining 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano. Bake until top is golden and cheese melts, about 25 minutes.
Look at these yummy roasted vegetables!