Giada De Laurentiis is one of my favorite chefs. Her recipes are pretty easy to follow and she cooks lots of vegetable recipes. For this veggie lover that’s a big draw. Her cooking show “Giada at Home” is fun to watch, she’s always so perky and she has that dreamy beach house. I’m constantly gathering recipes and try at least one new recipe a week. I liked this recipe because it was full of veggies and and was one that I could make ahead, always a plus for this busy household.
It smelled so good as I was preparing it that my husband could barely wait for it to be done. I had to send him to the store to get the French bread to serve with it and he came home with flowers for me. I guess it’s true what they say “a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”.
Before I go any further though I would like to make a couple disclaimers: not everyone liked the smoke mozzarella so I think for us it might be better with just regular mozzarella, also this dish was actually better after it sat for a while and the flavors had a chance to blend. The seasoning is great and it smells amazing when it’s cooking and I loved having healthy leftovers in the fridge. It’s super easy to prepare, I’ll definitely be making it again.
Printable directions will be available at the end of post.
The ingredients: red bell peppers, zucchini, yellow (summer) squash, cremini mushrooms, yellow onion, olive oil, salt pepper, dried Italian herb mix or herbs de Provence, penne pasta, marinara sauce, fontina cheese, smoked (or regular) mozzarella, frozen peas, grated Parmesan and butter.
Cut up the peppers, zucchini, squash, mushrooms, and onions.
On a baking sheet toss the vegetables with olive oil, salt, pepper and dry herbs. Roast until tender about 15 minutes.
Look how colorful this is!
Cook the pasta in salted water for 6 minutes (only 6 minutes) and drain. In a large bowl, toss the drained pasta with the marinara sauce…
and the peas…
and the cheese…
and the roasted vegetables…
I was following Giada’s video while making this recipe, but I would mix each ingredient as I went to incorporate all the flavors really well. I also notice that she didn’t follow the directions exactly how they are written, I would look at her video for guidance if you want but follow the printed directions. I’ll link the video at the end of this.
Pour the pasta into a greased 9 x 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.
I served this with French Bread and butter. Super easy dinner and full of lots of good for you veggies.
It got even better the next day and reheated nicely.
To watch Giada’s video go here.
Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables
- 2 red peppers, cored and cut into 1-inch wide strips
- 2 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 yellow (summer) squash, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 4 cremini mushrooms, halved or quartered
- 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 pepper, divided
- 1 tbsp. dried Italian herb mix or herbs de provence
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 3 cups marinara sauce (store bought or homemade)
- 1 cup grated fontina cheese
- 1/2 cup grated smoked (or regular) mozzarella
- 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/3 cup for topping
- 2 tbsp. butter, cut into small pieces
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. F.
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 woooden spoon, gently mix, until all the pasta is coated with the sauce and the ingredients are combined.
Pour the pasta into a greased 9 x 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.
Hope you enjoy this tasty dish. Let me know what you think.