I don’t usually do New Year’s resolutions, but for some reason, this year I’ve come up with a few. I like to think of my list as more of a “things to do in 2010” than resolutions since it’s not like I’m trying to really change my life – just make my life a little better, more organized and more fun. So get to the point already…I know.
One of my “things to do in 2010” is to try one new recipe a week. We (OK, I) get into a cooking rut sometimes. Most people do, I think. I have several “go to” recipes that seem to make appearances more than what my family would like. So my first new recipe this year was a variation of Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables from Giada De Laurentiis‘ show “Everyday Italian.” I love Giada. Her food makes me happy!
Here’s how I did it (slightly different than Giada’s but still quite delightful):
1 red pepper, cut into 1-inch wide strips
2 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into cubes
A few cremini mushrooms, cut into quarters
1 yellow onion, sliced into 1-inch strips
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 pound (or a little less) penne pasta
3 cups marinara sauce (store bought)
1 cup grated fontina cheese
1/2 cup grated smoked mozzarella
1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/3 cup for topping
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
On a baking sheet, toss the peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, and onions with olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Roast until tender, about 15 minutes.
While the veggies are roasting, 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, 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. Bake until top is golden and cheese melts, about 20 minutes.
I wasn’t sure about using a jarred marinara sauce because so many of them taste really sweet to me, but since I wasn’t feeling up to making a homemade sauce, so jarred sauce won. To my amazement the sauce tasted great. I attribute that to the roasted vegetables – and the loads of cheesy goodness. The roasted veggies brought a smoky flavor to the sauce that made it taste great.
It’s a relatively easy recipe. I hope you love it too!