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Three Cheese Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables

By: Courtesy of 125 Best Casseroles and One-Pot Meals by Rose Murray 2014. www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission. Available where books are sold.
Three Cheese Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables
Three Cheese Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables
This image courtesy of robertrose.ca

The next time you are craving Italian food, try this flavorful recipe for Three Cheese Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables. This easy casserole recipe is hearty, comforting, and it could definitely feed a crowd. You can make this easy pasta casserole for vegetarians, but even meat eaters won't notice that it's veggie-friendly. Another great thing about this baked pasta recipe is that it features three different kinds of cheese! Best of all, the recipe uses a very generous amount of each cheese. Your family and friends will love how each bite of this pasta features chunks of peppers, eggplant, zucchini, and mushrooms.

Serves8

Ingredients

  • 1 sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 1 sweet yellow pepper, chopped
  • 3 cups quartered mushrooms (12 lb/250 g)
  • 2 zucchini, diced
  • 1 small eggplant, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 olive oil (50 mL)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (or 2 teaspoons/10 mL dried)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 5 cups penne pasta
  • 3 1/2 cups meatless store-bought spaghetti sauce
  • 3 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups diced Fontina cheese
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. In a large shallow pan, toss together the red and yellow peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant, garlic and oil; spread out and roast in 450 degree F (230 degrees C) oven for about 25 minutes or until softened, stirring once or twice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sir in 1/3 cup (75 mL) of the parsley, basil, and rosemary.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender but firm. Pour in 2 cups (500 mL) cold water; then drain well and let cool. Gently combine with spaghetti sauce, vegetables, mozzarella cheese, Fontina cheese, and half of the Parmesan. Transfer to a greased shallow 12-cup (3 L) baking dish.

  3. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and parsley. (Pasta can be prepared to this point, covered, and refrigerated for up to 1 day, or frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw in refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before heating.)

  4. Bake, covered with greased foil, in 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) oven for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer or until bubbly.

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I made this for lunch and it was very delicious. Each bite was like a creamy and satisfying treat for the taste buds. The roasted vegetables, cheese, tomato sauce and seasonings was the perfect combination. It is one of those dishes that you just want more of once you start eating it. I made the recipe as written and because we were only two people, there was plenty left. So, I portioned off the rest and placed the portions in the freezer for the future. There are always those days where one does not have a lot of time and I love being able to just thaw up a good home cooked meal. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

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