This hearty dish is packed with flavor and it is an easy way to get the kids to eat more vegetables. We suggest using rigatoni pasta for this recipe, which is similar to penne but wider and slightly curved. The pasta combines with cheddar cheese, veggies and a simple sauce made by thickening up crushed tomato with a little cornstarch. This is simple enough to please a child’s palate, ideal for the youngest member of the family who just wants something colorful, cheesy and tasty; is also a nice dinner for the grownups who want a vegetarian dish which lots of natural vegetable flavors packed into it.
If you prefer to use penne, spirals or another pasta shape instead of the rigatoni, go ahead. You can even use whole wheat pasta instead. Cook the pasta to the al dente stage instead of getting it too soft. Remember the pasta bake is going to be in the oven for 40 minutes so it will soften more in there. Fresh vegetables are always best to use, because the texture is firmer and they are tastier, but if you want to use canned or frozen ones, that is also fine.
Something else you can do is swap half the cheddar for mozzarella, or just use a ‘cheese for pasta dishes’ blend, since that will be a similar combination. Some people like to add fresh or dried herbs to the mixture, just to add more flavors to the dish, and you can do that if you wish. Basil and oregano are both nice with tomato-based pasta bake recipes, or consider a pinch of ‘dried mixed herbs’ or even some fresh parsley. Continue reading
This is a very simple dish to make, and perfect if you want a baked pasta dinner with tuna and vegetables too. Rigatoni is suggested for this recipe, although you could use penne since the 2 are very similar. Fresh peas and corn would also work, but it is quicker and simpler to use the frozen kind, so most people would choose to use that. Onion and garlic feature in this dish as well, and it has cheese and breadcrumbs on top which turn golden brown when you bake the dish.
This is the kind of dish you could serve to the whole family, since it is creamy enough to appeal to even the youngest member of the family, and the bright green and yellow of the peas and corn also add to the visual appeal and make everyone want to grab a fork and get started on this right away. It can be served just by itself or with a side dish of some kind, perhaps garlic bread, a mixed leaf salad, or even some sautéed green asparagus or broccoli.
Baked pasta recipes are good all year round, and this would be just as good during the summer as during the winter, although the cooler months are usually when we tend to crave such dishes more. It is worth keeping pasta and cans of tuna in the pantry and frozen vegetables in the freezer, and then as long as you have the sauce ingredients you can throw this together whenever the family requests it. Continue reading
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