Veggie Pasta Bake
- 1 lb. short dry pasta
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 Tbs. flour
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 2 cups milk
- Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning, to taste
- 4 oz. shredded Monterey Jack or other mild cheese
- ½ cup shredded Parmesan, divided
- 1 cup diced tomatoes (fresh or canned)
- 1 cup + fresh veggies of choice (I used spinach)
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
This is spot-on winter comfort food and makes use of the veggies lingering in your fridge. The recipe makes about eight servings — enough for leftovers, depending on the size of your household.
Preheat oven to 400°. Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente.
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine oil and flour; stir for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds.
Whisk in milk. Continue cooking over medium to low heat, stirring continuously. Add spices and bring milk to a simmer until it thickens. Remove heat and whisk in Monterey Jack and ¼ cup of the Parmesan.
Pour the cooked pasta into a large mixing bowl; add tomatoes and other veggies and fold in cheese sauce. Pour the mixture into a 13 x 9 or other large baking dish and top with remaining Parmesan. Bake 20-30 minutes or until hot.
Note: If you’re using broccoli, carrots, peppers, or other crunchy veggies, sauté them separately in a little olive oil before adding them to the pasta.