Baked pastas don’t just have to be a winter thing. One of the great things about cutting out most meat is that it instantly makes things feel lighter and lets you focus on the other flavors and textures. I have a few favorite pasta shapes, rigatoni is my favorite short pasta. I avoided it when I was more conscious of what I ate because it was hard to find a whole wheat version. But now that I eat to live, I’ll be eating white flour rigatoni. Probably baked with a bunch of cheese.
Total Time: 1 hour
Difficulty Level: Easy
2 tbsp olive oil
2 zucchini, medium diced
Salt and pepper
12 ounces rigatoni, cooked and drained
12 ounces Rao’s marinara sauce (or your favorite, but why isn’t this your favorite?)
8 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces + 2 ounces shredded parmesan cheese (divided)
2 eggs, lightly beaten and at room temperature
3 ounces shredded mozzarella
½ cup seasoned panko bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium high heat. Season with salt and pepper, and cook for 4-5 minutes, so they are still crisp and bright green (do not overcook). Set aside.
- Add the zucchini, cooked pasta, marinara sauce, cream cheese, 4 ounces of the parmesan cheese, and eggs to a large bowl. Toss gently until well combined.
- Turn out pasta into a casserole dish, and spread evenly.
- Top with remaining parmesan, plus the mozzarella and panko breadcrumbs.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is brown and bubbling.
- Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.