penne primavera

After our California dinner at Pasta Q, I went looking for a pasta primavera recipe and found this. (You must browse the Meatless section at Ezra Pound Cake, there are so many recipes that I want to make!)

My plan was to make the roasted vegetables, mix with the sauce, and just serve over pasta, but hubby really liked the recipe's idea of baking it, so we did. It was easy, and satisfying, and made a huge amount: two dinners plus a large container of leftover veggie sauce for the freezer.

I made a few changes from the "original" recipe, which was already an adaptation of Giada's Everyday Italian recipe, namely leaving out the peppers and adding matchstick carrots. I also had the frozen peas thawed, but forgot to add them. But, I really don't like peas much anyway.

Baked Vegetable Penne

2 zucchini, quartered and cubed
2 yellow squash, quartered and cubed
4 oz sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 yellow onion, cut in big slices
2 Tbsp minced garlic
olive oil
salt and pepper
Italian herb mix
1 lb. penne pasta
chunky tomato sauce
2 c. (or so) mozzarella

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Toss veggies on baking sheet with salt, pepper, spices, garlic, and drizzle with olive oil. I divided mine into squash/zucchini/onions and mushroom/carrots, which was good because the mushrooms needed a few minutes less than the squash.

Roast veggies for 20-25 minutes, checking them and mixing once or twice with a spatula.

Meanwhile, cook pasta (according to directions for al dente - in large pot, boiling water, drain, you know this) and, in a medium pot, make chunky tomato sauce. I used a recipe from Sandra Lee, and I this will definitely be my go-to tomato sauce from now on.

Once veggies are cooked, lower oven to 375 degrees, then add them into the pot of tomato sauce and mix together.

At this point, I could have totally stopped and just eaten it with a spoon out of the pot:

But I managed to continue on:

Pour veggie sauce into greased pan and mix in equal part pasta. Top with shredded cheese. Bake for 20 minutes.

Would it have been even better with the extra cheese, Parmesan, and butter called for in the recipe? Maybe, but it so good this way that I wouldn't bother.

And here's the perfect simple chunky sauce recipe:

olive oil
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp. Italian herb mix

Coat pot with olive oil, saute onion and garlic for a few minutes over medium heat.

Add diced tomatoes and Italian herbs.

Lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring often.

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