A Squared: Friday Finds: Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables

Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday Finds: Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables

Happy Friday, readers!

I have a yummy fall dinner dish to share with you today courtesy of my old friend Giada De Laurentiis. This recipe comes from her Everyday Pasta cookbook and makes a really rich and satisfying vegetarian dinner. Three cheese, marinara sauce, and a variety of roasted vegetables make this dish rich and hearty-- the perfect thing to pop in the oven for a cozy dinner on this chilly fall weekend-- or if you are in Chicago, this somewhat warm weekend.

After making this recipe, I have a few notes to share with you too:

  • This recipe is ideal for feeding a crowd. I cut the recipe in half and it still made a TON of pasta. We ate it for dinner and then for multiple lunches afterward. It also stores and reheats very well.
  • I am not a fan of mushrooms, so I double the amount of zucchini in this recipe in place of the mushrooms and it turned out great. This recipe makes it really easy to sub in your favorite veggies as you wish.
  • I learned in making this recipe that I am not a fan of peas. Or rather, that I did not like them as a child, have not eaten them in several years, and after eating them in this pasta... well, I still don't like them. I will be leaving them out next time!


  • 2 red peppers, seeded, cored, and cut into 1-inch wide strips
  • 2 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 summer squash, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 cremini mushrooms, halved
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and sliced into 1-inch strips
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 Tbs. dry herbs de Provence
  • 1 lb. penne pasta *I used Barilla Whole Grain
  • 3 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 cup fontina cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup smoked mozzarella, grated
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan, plus 1/3 cup for topping, grated
  • 2 Tbs. butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

On a baking sheet, toss the peppers, zucchini, squash, mushrooms, and onions with olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and dried herbs. Roast until tender, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, 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, peas, 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 and butter pieces. Bake until top is golden and cheese melts, about 25 minutes. 

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