This easy, comforting, yet healthy dish freezes well and makes incredible meal prep. I boosted up the veggies in it a lot so it’s full of flavor and fiber, too. Author: Ginger Hultin
- 12-ounce package of dry whole wheat, bean or lentil penne pasta
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 large onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bell pepper (color of your choice!)
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped
- 8 oz package white mushrooms, chopped
- 32 oz jar tomato/pasta sauce
- 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese feel free to use whole fat if you want
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 /2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese or Italian cheese blend divided
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.
- Prepare an 8×8 pan by pouring 1/2 cup of tomato sauce in the bottom and spreading it evenly
- Cook the pasta for 6-8 minutes or per the instructions on the box so it’s al dente (a little firm). Drain the pasta and set it aside if it finishes before your sauce.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat then add the onion, cooking it for 1-2 minutes or until it starts to slightly soften.
- Add the garlic and cook it with the onion, stirring occasionally for another minute.
- Add the bell pepper and zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes until the vegetables have softened and the onion is translucent.
- Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for another2-3 minutes until they have softened.
- Set aside 3/4 cup of the jarred sauce and pour the remainder of it into the vegetable mixture, blending the vegetables into it completely.
- Pour your drained pasta into the sauce and fold to coat the pasta completely.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, blend the ricotta cheese, egg, oregano, basil and parsley and 1/2 the shredded cheese together.
- Pour 1/2 the pasta mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Then spread the ricotta mixture evenly on top of it in 1 layer.
- Top the ricotta mixture with the remaining pasta mixture then top that evenly with your remaining tomato sauce and sprinkle it evenly with the remaining shredded cheese.
- Bake the dish in the oven for 20-30 minutes until the cheese on top has started to slightly brown and the sauce bubbles on the sides.