Before I begin, today is my Emma's 19th birthday, and I want to give a little shout out to her in Thailand! Happy Birthday to the sweetest girl on earth, with LOTS of love from your momma. Can't wait to see you Thursday and hug you!
Well, I must say, this week's Meatless Monday is absolutely delicious! It's Giada de Laurentiis' Roasted Vegetable Penne and it's a WINNER. Even though it's a cinch to make, I do want to warn you that it dirties practically every pot in the kitchen... but trust me it's so worth it! You can make it early in the day and pop it in the oven when you're ready to eat. I love dishes like that - there aren't many out there that don't contain cream of mushroom soup. :-) I think this dish would be great for easy summer entertaining and would please practically anyone.
I followed the recipe to a T, but there is a lot of flexibility here. It would be a great way to use up odds and ends veggies, and I'm sure you could substitute out the cheese for another melty type.
Gorgeous veggies about to go in the oven
Giada's Roasted Vegetable Penne
2 red peppers, cored and cut into 1-inch wide strips
2 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 summer squash, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 cremini mushrooms, halved (I used 10)
1 yellow onion, peeled and sliced into 1-inch strips
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 tablespoon dried Italian herb mix or herbes de Provence
1 pound penne pasta
3 cups marinara sauce (I prefer Rao's)
1 cup grated fontina cheese
1/2 cup grated smoked mozzarella
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/3 cup for topping
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
On a baking sheet, toss the peppers, zucchini, squash, mushrooms, and onions 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 in a colander.
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.
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 25 minutes.