Baked Roasted Vegetable Pasta is a flavorful blend of oven roasted veggies tossed with cooked pasta and tangy tomato basil/marinara sauce. These are then layered with cheese and baked until cheese melts and is golden brown. Baking provides this dish a nice crusty top layer which takes the taste and texture of this dish to the next level and so highly recommend it. I prefer to roast the veggies in the oven as that way when am cooking my sauce and boiling my pasta my veggies are cooking too. But you could also roast them on a pan over a stove-top. I like using dry herbs with the veggies as the chances of these burning (in the oven) are less.
Ever since I started making pasta, vegetable pasta was my go to recipe. But sometime back I came across a recipe from Food Network where the pasta was topped with cheese and baked. Gave it a try and we totally loved it. Have been baking this dish ever since keeping rest of my recipe version same. Pasta veggies and cheese makes the perfect combination for a hearty family meal and is even suitable for those potluck and parties.
Now to the recipe:
Ingredients: Serves 4
2 cups of uncooked pasta (I am using Penne pasta)
1 and 1/2 tbsp of salt (required to cook the pasta)
1/2 cup of frozen green peas (thawed)
1/2 cup of frozen corn kernels(thawed)
1 cup of shredded mixed cheese (I am using Mexican blend of 4 cheese : Monterey Jack, Medium Cheddar, Queso Quesadilla and Asadero Cheese)
1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella
1/2 tbsp of dry parsley flakes
1/2 tbsp of dry Italian seasoning
Roasted Veggies (as per below)
Pasta Sauce (as per below)
For Roasted Veggies:
1 cup of zucchini chopped in about 1 inch pieces
1 cup of yellow squash chopped in about 1 inch pieces
1 cup broccoli florets (medium sized)
1 cup red bell pepper chopped in about 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup of carrots chopped in about 1/2 inch circles
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp dry rosemary
1/4 tsp dry oregano
1/2 tsp dry parsley flakes
1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/8 tsp pepper (or to taste)
For the Pasta sauce:
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp butter
1 bay leaf
2 garlic cloves minced
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1 tsp Italian seasoning
handful of fresh basil leaves (Around 10-15 leaves)
salt to taste
1/4 tsp pepper (or to taste)
1 tsp sugar (optional)
1 tsp of red chilli flakes (optional or to taste)
1 cup of water
Bring a pot of water to a boil and then season it with salt. Now Add the pasta to it and cook till Al-dente about 10 -15 mins. Reserve about a cup of the starchy pasta water and drain the remaining. Rinse the pasta. Once all the water has drained transfer the pasta back to the pot. Keep aside.
For roasted veggies:
For the Pasta Sauce:
In a saucepan, heat the oil and butter on medium-low until the butter melts. Then add the bay leaf and minced garlic and saute for about a minute. Now add the onions and saute until golden brown and soft. Then add the diced tomatoes and cook for about 10 mins covered on medium heat until the tomatoes are soft.
Add the tomato paste along with 1 cup of starchy pasta water (or normal water). Stir well and simmer for about 10 mins. Then add the Italian seasoning, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix and cover and cook for about 20 mins on medium low or until the sauce has thickened and reduced. Usually the sauce will sweeten as you cook but if you want to cut the sourness add some sugar. Now add the fresh basil leaves and cook for about 5 mins more. That’s its, Pasta Sauce is ready. Keep aside.
For Assembling the Pasta :
To the pot of pasta add the roasted veggies along with the thawed green peas and corn. Then add the pasta sauce and about 1/2 cup of Mexican cheese blend. Mix well.
Lower the oven temperature to 375F. Now grease a 9X13 inch baking dish with some cooking oil spray or butter and transfer the pasta into it. Spread the pasta evenly. Now sprinkle evenly the remaining 1/2 cup of mixed Mexican cheese blend followed by mozzarella. Top it up with some dry parsley flakes and Italian seasoning. Bake for about 20-30 mins of until the cheese has melted and is slightly golden brown.
- If you plan to cook the pasta ahead of time then after draining the water coat it with 1 -2 tbsp of olive oil to prevent the pasta from sticking to each other.
- You can add any other veggies you like e.g: mushrooms, green beans etc.
- I have used Penne, but any type of pasta would work for this recipe.
- The amount of spice and cheese can be added as per taste preference.
That’s it, our hearty Baked Vegetable Pasta is ready. Serve it hot on it own or with a side of Garlic bread.