Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables

I found this recipe on Food Network, and since I’m trying to cook a little out of my comfort zone these days I figured why not try this recipe. It called for fontina cheese which I wasn’t too familiar with so I felt like this was partly out of my comfort zone. I could not find a block anywhere in the deli or processed cheese sections, so I went to a very kind Publix employee and started picking her brain about it. I ended up having to get a small chunk from behind the deli counter (only half of what the recipe called for since I didn’t want to break the bank). Jon was very impressed with this recipe, and so was I! I will definitely be making this again in the near future, and  maybe even for a dinner party or pot luck–it was that good! 
 

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Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables

Yield: 6

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 red peppers, 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 ( I used sliced white mushrooms)
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and sliced into 1-inch strips
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon House Seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon 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 mozzarella ( I used a bagged 6 cheese  blend since I could not find smoked mozzarella)
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/3 cup for topping
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

Directions:

 

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
 
2. On a baking sheet, toss the peppers, zucchini, squash, mushrooms, and onions with olive oil, house seasoning.  and dried herbs. Roast until tender, about 15 minutes.
 
3. 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.
 
4. 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