Roasted veggies the star of pasta dish

Adapt recipe to suit family tastes

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In the last few years, I’ve tried more and more recipes with roasted vegetables.

I love the flavor of red peppers, zucchini, squash and onions after they have spent some quality time together in a hot oven!

When I saw a recipe on Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis’ website, Giadzy, for baked penne with roasted vegetables, I knew I had to try it. My family loves pasta dishes and roasted veggies, so I knew we’d love it. I was right!

I made this dish the first time in March, using a homemade marinara sauce. I made it the second time a few weeks ago for a lunch at church; that time I used a jarred sauce. The recipe was delicious both times and, of course, a little easier with the prepared sauce.

The good thing about this recipe is it’s very adaptable. You can change the sauce, the pasta, the veggies you choose and the cheese.

For instance, I used 1 red pepper and 1 green pepper. Next time, I might do red and orange, or red and yellow. I also used yellow squash and zucchini, and next time I might add in some broccoli. I got the sliced mushrooms from the salad bar, so I could easily throw in some broccoli at the salad bar as well.

Giada uses fontina, smoked mozzarella and Parmesan cheese in her recipe. To cut down on the cost of buying three types of cheese, I bought a package of grated Italian cheese that includes five types of cheese.

The recipe is very simple to make. While the vegetables are roasting, cook the pasta. Then mix it all together and bake for about 25 minutes.

Serve this dish with some hot bread, and you’ve got a delicious, meat-free meal.

The recipe makes a lot, and we had plenty of leftovers, which we enjoyed the next few days.

lisa@wilsontimes.com | 265-7810

Roasted Veggie Pasta

2 bell peppers (I used 1 red and 1 green) cut into 1-inch strips

2 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 summer squash, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 cup sliced mushrooms (I get mine from a salad bar)

1 yellow onion, peeled and sliced into 1-inch strips

Extra virgin olive oil (a tablespoon or so to drizzle)

1 teaspoon salt

12 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon oregano or Italian seasoning blend (I think I omitted this the last time I made it)

1 pound penne pasta (or ziti)

3 cups marinara sauce (I used Paul Newman’s once and made my own the other time)

2 cups grated Italian cheese blend

1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

On a baking sheet, toss the vegetables with a little olive oil, 12 teaspoon of the salt, 14 teaspoon of pepper and the oregano. Bake until tender, about 15 minutes.

Cook pasta for about 6 minutes. Drain.

In a large bowl, combine the pasta with the roasted vegetables, marinara sauce, all but a 14 cup of cheese, and the remaining 12 teaspoon salt and 14 teaspoon pepper. Gently mix using a wooden spoon until all the pasta is coated with the sauce and the ingredients are combined.

Pour the pasta into a greased 9X13-inch baking dish. Top with the remaining 14 cup of Parmesan cheese and the butter pieces.

Cover casserole dish with aluminum foil and cook for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove foil and cook an additional 10-15 minutes until the top is golden and the cheese melts.

Adapted from Giadzy