Baked penne with Roasted vegetables

Who doesn't love pasta? This food has become a regular thing at home every week. My family loves to eat baked food of all sorts. When I came to the States, I had no idea how to cook pasta.I think many of you can relate to me. All my life I ate South Indian, North Indian, Indo-Chinese and a little bit of Mediterranean. The funniest thing is my Chinese friend does not even know that there is Indo-Chinese food existing and we Indians are a huge fan of it. This is one of the greatest opportunities to try all these Mexican, Italian, Thai, Ethiopian, vietnamese and so many other type of cuisines. Ain't we so blessed? So many varieties of food, learning different culture and meeting people of so many countries. How amazing!! surely,  There are so many Mexican, Thai and Italian restaurants back in our country these days. But I bet you will be craving for biryani, chicken sukkas, and wide variety of chaats in India and not any pasta and tortillas.
Coming to my pasta cooking adventure, My DH  felt that my  pasta and the sauce did not blend well. I felt the same way too. In fact, I did stop cooking pasta at home in between. Some people make their own pasta at home with pasta maker. Alright, I am not going to lie to you saying that I am going to try all those crazy hard work. All I was longing to learn was how to cook pasta in the right consistency and make it blend in the sauce. The Instructions in the pasta package is pretty much straightforward but it can go wrong when you overcook the pasta for a couple of minutes. All I do is stand right next to the stove and keep checking for the consistency until it reaches the a la dente texture. The pasta should be neither too soft nor hard. It should be just firm and cooked thoroughly. 

Cooking Essentials
  • Pasta- penne 1 package
  • Marinara sauce ( I used 3/4 of the costco kirkland bottle)
  • mushrooms  - half pack
  • zucchini- 1
  • bell peppers- 1
  • peas-1 cup
  • broccoli-1 cup
  • parmesan and mozarella cheese- 1/3cup each grated
  • pepper -1tsp
  • salt to taste
  • olive oil -  3tbsp
  • Italian herb spice mix for seasoning.                             

    How to cook?
  • Preheat the oven  for 450 degree F.
  • Toss the mixed veggies in a baking tray and drizzle it with some olive oil and roast it for 15 minutes.
  • Bring a big pot of water to boil. And cook pasta for about 7-8 minutes. Cook till it is firm and ala dente. Do not overcook as we will be baking in the oven too.  Drain the pasta in a colander.
  • Mix the cooked pasta, roasted veggies, Italian seasoning, Marinara sauce, salt and pepper and 1/3rd of the cheese mix in a large bowl.
  • Transfer the pasta and veggies into a greased baking dish and top it with grated cheese and bake it until it turns golden brown and the cheese melts for 25 minutes. Serve it hot.


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