I improvised this pasta bake last night from the stuff we had in the fridge and it turned out super delicious and rich and filling, so I want to share it with you guys. Not vegan, but it did turn out vegetarian. Also gluten free if you use the right noodles.
- 12 oz of penne noodles
- 4 zucchinis, chopped to smallish pieces
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- half a block of cream cheese (4ish ounces)
- half a cup of parmesan (the powdered stuff from the tube is fine)
- half a teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 cup and a half of mozzarella cheese
- 1/3 cup of green olives, roughly chopped
- a few tablespoons of olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit (ooh I spelled it right on the first try booyah)
Sauté the zucchini on medium-high in some olive oil, then set it aside. Bring the heat on the pan down to medium, and sauté the onions in the rest of the olive oil. Once the onions start to get translucent, add the cream cheese, tomato paste and heavy cream. Stir frequently until the cream cheese and tomato paste are all combined smoothly. Then add the flavor— salt, pepper, garlic powder, parmesan, even some dried herbs if you like (I recommend basil and oregano, or one of those italian seasoning blends). Add the zucchini and turn heat down to low.
Don’t forget to cook the pasta! I do it last because I’m bad at timing sauces and the noodles tend to get stuck together if they sit for too long. Cook the noodles per their package directions (al dente is fine since they’ll be baked soon), and then add them to the pasta sauce and give it all a good stir. Then in a good sized baking dish (or several small ones), make a layer of noodles that’s about half of what you made and top it with half your mozzarella. Add the rest of the noodles plus the green olives, then top with the rest of the cheese.
Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is thoroughly melted.
Serves 4-6, or 1 person for a week.