If you’re a lover of roasted vegetables and creamy cheeses, this Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables is for you!
I have a few recipes that I keep in a special recipe folder. They’re the tried-and-true recipes I call upon when I’m making dinner for close friends, when I want to surprise my family with a special meal or when I want to bring a comforting dish to a dear friend recovering from an illness.
Such is the case with this trusted recipe for savory Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables. I’ve probably made this recipe fifty times or more and I love the way it turns out each and every time. You simply can’t beat roasted vegetables, including sweet and crunchy red peppers, thick pieces of zucchini and sweet yellow onions, brought together in this superb recipe.
The secret to the marvelous flavor of these roasted vegetables lies in the seasoning. I use Herbes De Provence. Herbes De Provence is a fragrant blend of rosemary, marjoram, thyme, savory and lavender and imparts a wondrous flavor.
I made a double batch of Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables most recently and took one to a very good friend and her family and saved the other one for us.
The original recipe comes from Giada DeLaurentiis and I discovered it years ago, most likely on her show. I remember quickly writing down the ingredients then rushing off to the computer to search for the details of the recipe. I found it, saved it and I now keep it in my special folder.
The recipe itself is perfection but the dish lends itself well to creativity. I’ll vary the vegetable selections once in a while, usually omitting the mushrooms since my kids don’t care for them. I also always add more cheese than the recipe calls for. The recipe calls for 1 cup of Fontina, I’ll add at least 1 1/2 cups and if I’m feeling particularly good about myself, I’ll even add 2! I like to play around with the cheese choices too. Gouda or Gruyere would be great substitutes.
The recipe also calls for Smoked Mozzarella. Never substitute another cheese for this one. The Smoked Mozzarella instills the dish’s signature flavor that brings roasted vegetables to a whole new level.
The vibrant colors of this dish match it’s vibrant taste. Healthy, hearty and comforting, this Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables will become one of your favorites too.
Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables
- 3 inch red peppers cored and cut into 1- strips
- 3 inch zucchini quartered lengthwise and cut into 1- cubes
- 1 inch yellow onion peeled and sliced into 1- strips
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt divided
- 1 teaspoon black pepper divided
- 1 tablespoon Herbes De Provence dried
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 3 cups Marinara Sauce
- 2 cups fontina cheese shredded
- 1 1/2 cups smoked mozzarella shredded
- 1 1/2 cups peas frozen peas thawed
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan plus 1/4 cup for topping
- 2 tablespoons butter cut into small pieces
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Toss the peppers, zucchini and onions with olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and the Herbes De Provence. Pour out onto a large baking sheet and 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. (The pasta won't be completely cooked through. Since you will be baking it in the oven, you want to make sure the inside is still a little hard).
- Drain in a colander.
- Using a large bowl, toss the drained pasta with the roasted vegetables, the marinara sauce, the foniina and mozzarella cheeses, 1/2 cup of the grated parmesan cheese, peas, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
- Mix well until the pasta is coated with the sauce and all the ingredients are combined.
- Butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Pour the pasta into the dish, top with the remaining 1/3 cup parmesan cheese and the butter pieces.
- Bake until top is golden and cheese melts, about 25 minutes.
Recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis