Pasta bakes are a comforting and versatile dish, perfect for bringing together family and friends. Today, we invite you to experience the ultimate harmony of flavours in our three-cheese veg-packed pasta bake. Bursting with nutritious vegetables and layered with a trio of delectable cheeses, this hearty and cheesy delight will satisfy your cravings and leave you yearning for more.
Ingredients (Serves 6-8):
- 400g pasta of your choice (penne, rigatoni, or fusilli work well)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium zucchini, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup baby spinach leaves
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Fresh basil leaves, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease a large baking dish with cooking spray or a drizzle of olive oil.
Cook the pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic, sautéing until fragrant and translucent.
Add the diced zucchini, red bell pepper, broccoli florets, and cherry tomatoes to the skillet. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are slightly softened but still retain some crunch. Season with salt, pepper, dried oregano, and dried basil. Stir to coat the vegetables evenly with the herbs.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked pasta, sautéed vegetables, baby spinach leaves, ricotta cheese, and half of the shredded mozzarella and grated Parmesan cheeses. Gently toss until all the ingredients are well combined.
Transfer the pasta mixture to the prepared baking dish, spreading it out evenly. Sprinkle the remaining shredded mozzarella and grated Parmesan cheeses over the top.
Bake the pasta in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is golden and bubbly.
Remove the pasta bake from the oven and allow it to cool slightly. Garnish with fresh basil leaves for an extra burst of flavour and visual appeal.
Serve the three-cheese veg-packed pasta bake hot, portioned into plates or bowls. Pair it with a side salad or crusty bread for a complete and satisfying meal.
With each spoonful of this three-cheese veg-packed pasta bake, you'll experience a medley of textures and flavours. The combination of perfectly cooked pasta, tender vegetables, and the creamy goodness of ricotta cheese, all enveloped in a blanket of melted mozzarella and Parmesan, will transport your taste buds to a place of pure culinary delight.
This dish is not only a feast for the senses but also a nutritious choice, packed with vitamins and minerals from the vibrant assortment of vegetables. It's a delightful way to incorporate more veggies into your diet without compromising on taste.
So, gather your loved ones, prepare this cheesy veggie masterpiece, and revel in the joy of sharing a comforting meal together. This pasta bake is bound to become a favourite in your recipe repertoire, bringing smiles and contentment to all