creamy baked rigatoni with zucchini and roasted red peppers

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

Serves: 4-6

Difficulty Level:  Easy

 

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil66755459_977856439219659_1515390145656782848_n

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

 

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Turn out pasta into a casserole dish, and spread evenly.
  5. Top with remaining parmesan, plus the mozzarella and panko breadcrumbs.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is brown and bubbling.
  7. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.