Cheesy vegetable pasta bake

    Cheesy vegetable pasta bake


    5 people made this

    About this recipe: This Italian-style pasta bake is not only simple to make, but it also tastes fantastic. Enjoy with a large green salad and/or garlic bread, if desired.

    Serves: 24 

    • 900g rigatoni pasta
    • 450g tomato based pasta sauce
    • 425g ricotta cheese
    • 175g baby spinach leaves
    • 450g ready-peeled baby carrots
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 3 small courgettes, diced
    • 175g portabello mushroom caps, diced
    • 225g button mushrooms, diced
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
    • 2 (400) tins chopped tomatoes, drained
    • 2 tablespoons Italian herb seasoning
    • 75g mozzarella cheese, grated
    • 75g Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
    • 75g Parmesan cheese, grated
    • 1.4kg tomato based pasta sauce
    • 2 tablespoons Italian herb seasoning
    • salt and ground black pepper to taste

    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:1hr30min  ›  Ready in:2hr 

    1. Preheat oven to 190 C / Gas 5. Make the Italian cheese blend, by mixing together Pecorino Romano, Parmesan and mozzarella. Set aside.
    2. Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the pasta and return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain well in a colander set in the sink. Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Transfer to a large roasting dish.
    3. Mix together 450g pasta sauce and the ricotta cheese in a large bowl. Add to the pasta and stir.
    4. Place the spinach into a food processor; blend until finely chopped; remove and set aside. Then place the carrots in the food processor and process until finely chopped.
    5. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook the carrots in the hot oil until they begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Stir in the courgettes, portabello mushrooms, button mushrooms and garlic; cook and stir until the courgette is soft, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the chopped spinach, tomatoes and 2 tablespoons Italian herb seasoning; drain. Add to the pasta and mix. Sprinkle about half of the Italian cheese blend over the pasta and stir through. Pour in the remaining pasta sauce; stir until the pasta and vegetables are evenly coated. Season with 2 tablespoons Italian herb seasoning, salt and pepper; mix. Cover the dish with foil.
    6. Bake in the preheated oven until completely heated through, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Remove the foil and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the dish. Return dish to oven and bake until the cheese melts and begins to brown, about 10 minutes more.

    Parmesan cheese

    Parmesan cheese is not truly vegetarian, as it contains animal rennet. To make this dish 100% vegetarian, omit the cheese or find a suitable vegetarian substitute made without animal rennet. In supermarkets look for the 'parmesan style hard cheeses' which are suitable for vegetarians.

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