Baked Pasta with Roasted Veggies-It’s Meatless Monday!

One of my favorite things to do is take a recipe that includes meat or isn’t necessarily healthy and make it my own vegetarian version with seasonal vegetables and healthy alternatives to some of the listed ingredients. How is that “green” you ask? Well, first of all, the impact on the environment from farmed animals is huge, especially when it comes to beef. Second, is when you choose to only buy vegetables that are in season and local you are more likely to get a better quality product that didn’t travel as far to get to your table, which means less fuel and impact on the environment. The majority of the vegetables I buy are harvested in the morning, loaded on to a truck and delivered to where I purchase them before noon. That all takes place less than 30 miles from my home. Now where I live it will get to be a bigger challenge as the winter months come along and seasonal items will be less and less, but I have committed to only buying those items that are in season and getting creative with some meal ideas! A new favorite of everyone in my family is my Baked Pasta with Roasted Vegetables! The original recipe is great, but I made a few changes to call it my own! Here it is:


2 red peppers, cored and sliced into one inch strips
1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced into one inch slices
2 large tomatoes, cut into approximately two inches pieces
2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped(I love garlic so use at least 3 large cloves!)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon herbs de Provence or Italian herb mix
1 pound whole wheat tubular pasta(we love rigatoni or penne)
2-3 cups homemade marinara sauce
1 cup freshly grated fontina cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated grated smoked mozarrella cheese or smoked gouda
1 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese(save half for topping)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Toss the tomatoes, onions, garlic, and peppers with olive oil, salt, pepper and herb mix. Spread on cooking sheet and roast for about 15 minutes or until tender.

Meanwhile, put on a pot of salted water for the pasta and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and only cook about 8-9 minutes since it will cook more when baked in the oven. Drain

In a large bowl combine the roasted veggies, cheeses, pasta, peas, marinara sauce, salt and pepper. Gently stir until combined and pour into a 9×13 pan, sprinkle with other half of parmesan cheese and bake uncovered about 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted.

This makes a large, yummy batch with leftovers and my husband doesn’t even miss the meat due to the smoky flavor of the mozarrella. You can certainly try your favorite combination of roasted vegetables, but try to make it a challenge and stick with what you can find at your local farmer’s market or farmstand.

The only thing missing from this post is a photo of this delicious dish, but I will try to remember to get a photo the next time I make it and will post here to share!

Enjoy and Happy Meatless Monday!!

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