Baked Pasta

Like free form lasagna. Whole wheat penne or fusilli easier to find than whole wheat lasagna. Often make this for myself and plain spaghetti or spaghetti and roasted chickpeas for kids.

Preparation

  • Pasta Sauce
  • Pepperoni
  • Steamed Spinach
  • Roasted Zucchini

MAIN

  • 2 cups pasta, penne or fusilli
  • 2 cups marinara sauce or pizza sauce
  • 1-2 burgers pepperoni sausage (lentil brown rice)
  • 2 large bunches spinach (2 layers)
  • 2-3 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 zucchini, sliced, roasted and chopped

Lightly steam spinach and zucchini. Separate zucchini from spinach and roast convection toaster oven 450F 30-40m. Drain spinach leaves and press liquid. 1 bunch spinach = 1 layer. Need 2 bunches spinach for 2 layers (better).

Coat bottom of baking pan with red sauce. Top with layer of spinach, then layer of pasta and red sauce. Crumble pepperoni. Add another layer of spinach, another layer of pasta and red sauce, and fresh chopped tomato.

Have also started bottom with pasta, then middle of spinach, zucchini and pepperoni, then top of pasta and tomatoes.

Bake 450F 30m. (Same as Macaroni and Cheese.) I have also used slower 350F 40m.

Tips

  • Parboil pasta very briefly, about half the recommended time, and rinse in cold water.
  • Plain baked pasta is bland, and flavor depends mostly on sauce and vegetables.
  • Vegetable layers are everything: texture and flavor.
  • Lots of spinach good. Leaves better than stems. Spread thin better than spread thick.
  • Roasted zucchini adds texture. Steam and dehydrate-roast zucchini sufficiently.
  • Pepperoni adds both texture and heat.