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Simple 9 Ingredient Veggie Baked Pasta!
And just like that, the holidays are here, and I want you to enjoy them. That’s why I created this easy, nine ingredient pasta recipe. You deserve to spend quality time with your family and friends during the most wonderful time of the year, you shouldn't have to slave away in the kitchen. You also deserve to eat nutritious and delicious food, because let’s be real, celebrations = food, and some of that food is not so good for us. Thanks to Barilla, and my love of noodles and veggies, this pasta recipe will help you save time, eat well, and feel satisfied. That means that you’re going to feel good about what you're eating, and not have to stress out about cooking when you’d rather be doing other things. Winning!
This vegetable and pasta recipe is different than most because of the penne noodles. I almost did cartwheels when I discovered Barilla's Veggie Penne pasta, because—you’re not going to believe this—it’s made with fresh tomatoes and carrots! Every serving provides you with twenty percent of the daily recommended allowance of vegetables. How awesome is that? If your kids won’t eat their vegetables you could serve them plain veggie pasta and they’d get a full serving without even knowing it. Shhhh…..
One of the reasons that this recipe is so simple is because the Barilla Veggie Penne already has twenty-five percent puree from carrots and tomatoes, so I only needed to add the all-important greens to make it a completely balanced and healthy dinner. And just look at the colors of this beautiful dish, it made me start singing Christmas carols the minute I added the spinach and basil to the pan.
This is the kind of meal that you can prepare ahead of time and pop in the oven when you’re ready to eat. It actually tastes better the next day because the pasta soaks up the sauce and the flavors get the chance to comingle. It’s also perfect for a holiday get together because it smells amazing when it’s baking, it's delicious, and it travels well.
So let’s review all of the positive things that this simple baked pasta, spinach, and basil recipe has going for it.
- The Barilla Veggie Penne is made with pureed tomatoes and carrots, and each serving provides you with twenty percent of the daily recommended allowance of vegetables.
- There are only nine simple ingredients in the recipe.
- It’s quick and easy to make.
- It will make your kitchen smell like an Italian grandma’s house.
- You can make it ahead of time.
- It travels well.
- It’s delicious!
There you go, seven excellent reasons to make this lovely and festive nine ingredient veggie baked pasta recipe.
How to Make Quick and Easy Baked Vegetable Pasta
To make this baked vegetable pasta all you’ll need to do is boil a pot of water and cook the penne for approximately 11 minutes.
While the pasta is boiling sauté a white onion, sliced mushrooms, and a few cloves of minced garlic, then add a can of crushed tomatoes, some Italian seasoning, chopped spinach and basil, and some balsamic vinegar. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer until the pasta is done.
Drain the pasta and put it in the pan with the sauce and gently and carefully fold the pasta and sauce together until well combined.
You can eat it before baking, but for best results let it sit in the refrigerator overnight, or for a day or two, and then bake it with some vegan ricotta cheese.
There is nothing in the ingredients list that’s difficult to find at this time of year. They’re all basic foods, and you probably already have the olive oil, onion, garlic, dried Italian seasoning, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper in your pantry. Most likely you’ll only need to shop for the fresh spinach, basil, vegan ricotta, and the pasta.
You can pick up a couple of boxes of the pasta at Target. That’s where I found mine, while I was filling my cart with a variety of holiday decorations and dog sweaters. Yes, I’m that person.
Let me know what you think of this super easy veggie pasta recipe. Leave a comment or shoot me an email. I love hearing from you.
Are you hosting a holiday party?
Are you going to a holiday party or two and need to bring a dish?
What holiday do you celebrate and what’s your favorite tradition?
Simple 9 Ingredient Baked Veggie Pasta
- 1 12 ounce box of Barilla® Veggie Penne
- 1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil optional, you could use ¼ cup of water to sauté the onions if desired
- 1 medium yellow onion – finely chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic – finely minced
- 8 ounces approximately six large button mushrooms – sliced
- 2 teaspoons of dried Italian seasoning
- ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
- Black pepper to taste
- 3 cups of chopped spinach leaves
- 1 cup of chopped basil leaves.
- 1 cup of vegan ricotta cheese
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. When it’s boiling add the pasta and cook for 9 to 10 minutes or until al dente. The pasta should be firm and have a slight bite to it because you’re going to bake it later. If you’re going to eat it immediately without baking then cook it for 10 to 11 minutes. Drain the water when done.
- While you’re waiting for the water to boil dice the onion, mince the garlic, and slice the mushrooms.
- Add the olive oil to a large skillet and heat on medium high heat. When the oil (if you use water instead of oil add it when the pan is hot, then add the onions and mushrooms immediately) is hot add the onions and mushrooms and spread them out evenly in the pan. Stir occasionally so the onions don’t turn brown. When the onions are translucent and the mushrooms have released their water and are beginning to shrink add the garlic and cook for three minutes. Stir well. Add the tomatoes, Italian seasoning, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce to a simmer. Add a ½ of a cup of the pasta water and stir. This will add a little starch to the sauce and thicken it a bit.
- Chop the spinach and basil and add to the sauce. Stir well and cook until the spinach and basil begin to wilt. Turn off the heat.
- When the pasta is done, drain the water and add the pasta to the sauce and gently fold until the noodles are covered in the sauce. Cover and refrigerate for up to two days.
- When you’re ready to eat it preheat the oven to 350° and add the vegan ricotta cheese. Bake covered for approximately thirty minutes or until hot in the center.
- NOTE: If you plan to eat it immediately after cooking it you can add the vegan ricotta to the pan. You can also bake it for fifteen minutes to reduce some of the sauce so it will be similar to a casserole.