Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables

The chef who wrote this cookbook published some other books and is on the Food Network. Her books are not vegetarian, but the vegetarian dishes that I've made so far from her pasta cookbook have been very good.

This book also has some very useful pasta cooking tips and information on pasta in general.

2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and 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
4 cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 yellow onion, peeled and sliced into 1-inch strips
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 tablespoon dried Italian herb blend
1 pound penne pasta
3 cups marinara sauce
1 cup grated fontina cheese
1/2 cup grated smoked mozzarella
1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/3 cup for topping
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

On a baking sheet, toss the bell peppers, zucchini, squash, mushrooms, and onion with the olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper, and the herbs. Bake until tender, about 15 minutes.

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 it is not completely cooked. Drain in a colander.

In a large bowl, combine the pasta with the roasted vegetables, marinara sauce, fontina, mozzarella, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, the peas, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 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 9 X 13 X 2-inch baking dish. Top with the remaining 1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese and the butter pieces. Bake until the top is golden and the cheese melts, about 25 minutes.

Everyday Pasta, Giada DeLaurentiis, 2007

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