05 December 2011

cheesy veggie & basil baked penne

Today I got my second filling in my whole life. I was totally prepared to have a puffy face and garner lots of sympathy from the hubs when I got home. I would have had the best excuse for having a milkshake for dinner, ever.

So when the filling took 20 minutes flat, no pain or novacaine needed, and I got a text from the hubs saying he'd be studying late at school, I knew I was out of luck in the sympathy and legitimate milkshake-for-dinner realm.

Now I sit curled up on the couch, bowl of ice cream in hand and Love Actually on the tv. Who needs husbands real excuses?

Maybe one night soon I will have time to make a real dinner like this one. Gooey, cheesy comfort food. Food for families or friends. Food for great conversation and laughter and being together. That's what this month is all about, right?

Cheesy Veggie & Basil Baked Penne

serves 8

1 package whole-wheat penne pasta (or rigatoni)
2 15-oz cans diced tomatoes
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup carrot, grated
3/4 cup sliced mushroom
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, divided
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
salt & fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup dry red wine

1 cup shredded mozarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
1/3 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

Heat oil in large saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and pepper and saute for 5 minutes, then add carrot and garlic cloves. Saute for 3-4 minutes until fragrant. Stir in oregano, 1/2 tsp salt, and tomato paste, and stir until combined. Add wine. When wine is bubbling stir in tomatoes, mushrooms and 1/4 cup of the basil. Simmer sauce for 45 min to an hour, until veggies are tender and the wine is no longer a dominant flavor. Taste for seasoning, adding a few grinds of pepper and salt to taste.

When the sauce is nearly cooked, bring a pot of water to a boil and heat oven to 375 degrees. Cook pasta until al dente and drain. Pour pasta into a 9x13 baking pan and pour sauce over the top, topping with cheeses, bread crumbs and the rest of the basil. Cover with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is bubbling. Remove foil and turn on the broiler, allowing cheesy topping to brown a bit. Remove from oven, allow to sit for 5 minutes, and serve with a green salad and a lovely glass of red wine.

Cheater week-night version: Use a jar of store-bought sauce, preferably with lots of chunky veggies. Pour it over the pasta cold and increase baking time by 10 minutes or so. Adding 1 lb. browned ground beef would be a bonus for carnivores as well.

1 comment:

Get Healthy with Heather said...

Mmmm that looks so comforting!!! And I totally wish I could say I only have 2 fillings.... Very awesome :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...