Fall is just around the corner, and that makes me so happy. It’s my favorite season, and I’m looking forward to enjoying everything it has to offer!
It still feels like summer here in NYC, but I’m starting to crave heartier foods. Casseroles, soups, anything pumpkin … I cant wait to eat it all.
Pasta is another fave dish in autumn, and I love experimenting with different flavors. This Cheesy Veggie Pasta Bake cured my craving for something rich and delicious, and it was easy to make with my secret ingredient, Napa Valley Homemade Pasta Sauce!
Keep reading for the recipe, plus enter to win the Perfect Pasta Night Giveaway!
Do you love fall as much as I do? I have so many happy memories surrounding this wonderful season, from trips to the pumpkin patch to rolling around in the leaves (haven’t done that in a while!) to drinking cups of hot apple cider.
My first year in New York, I rememeber thinking that fall was never going to arrive. It stays warm through September here, and it seemed like the leaves were never going to change colors. When they finally did, I couldn’t believe how beautiful the city looked!
There’s nothing better than strolling through Central Park with my husband, hot drink in hand, and taking in the vibrant fall colors. Of course, when I return home, I love to warm up with something delicious, like this Cheesy Veggie Baked Pasta.
Pasta is definitely an indulgence, so I like to fill my recipes with fresh veggies. My secret is using a ready-made pasta sauce to cut down on prep time. Mezzetta’s rich, flavorful sauce was the perfect choice for this dish!
I already love Mezzetta’s olives (kalamata are my fave!) and pickled vegetables, so I couldn’t wait to try their Napa Valley Homemade Pasta Sauces! Mezzetta has been family owned and operated for over 80 years, and each jar is made with 100% hand-selected plum tomatoes. There’s no added sugar or paste, and you can taste these personal touches in each bite!
For this dish, I used the Tomato & Sweet Basil sauce, and I loved the thick consistency and amazing flavor. It paired perfectly with sautéed onions, bell pepper, and yellow squash.
This recipe comes together fast, and after a quick bake, it’s ready to eat!
- 1 (16-oz.) box penne pasta
- 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 large onion, thinly sliced
- 1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 8-oz. brown mushrooms, sliced
- 1 yellow squash, quartered and sliced
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 (25-oz.) jar Mezzetta Napa Valley Homemade Tomato & Sweet Basil
- 1 (6-oz.) package baby spinach
- handful of basil leaves
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Add penne to pot and cook until al dente. Do not overcook.
- Drain pasta and aside until sauce is ready.
- While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet.
- Add onions and bell pepper to oil.
- Cook, stirring frequently, until onions and peppers begin to brown.
- Stir mushrooms into pan
- Saute, stirring often, until mushrooms release their juices and begin to brown.
- Add squash to pan and cook until brown, stirring frequently.
- Stir salt into veggies, then reduce heat to medium and allow pan to cool slightly.
- Mix pasta sauce into vegetables and cook until bubbly.
- Carefully mix spinach into sauce and cook until wilted.
- Tear basil into pieces and stir into sauce. Remove sauce from heat.
- Stir pasta into sauce.
- Add 1 1/2 cups of the cheese to the pasta.
- Mix well, then transfer pasta to a large baking dish.
- Top pasta with remaining cheese.
- Bake pasta for 15 - 20 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned and pasta is hot.
- Serve pasta immediately, topped with additional fresh basil, if desired. Enjoy!
This Cheesy Veggie Baked Pasta is easy to customize with your favorite veggies and herbs. It would even be delicious with some feta or olives thrown in. Try it with other Mezzetta Sauces, too. I can’t wait to try Spicy Marinara or Wild Mushroom!
Just look at all those fresh veggies!
Make sure to enter to win the Perfect Pasta Night Giveaway and several other prizes from Mezzetta!
- Grand Prize (1): Perfect Pasta Night. Cooking kit includes: Six (6) Mezzetta Napa Valley Homemade Pasta Sauces, plus Dried Pasta, Apron, Grocery Tote, Chef’s Hat, Cheese Grater, Recipe Cards, AND a $500 grocery gift card!
- Runner Up Prizes (10): Six (6) Mezzetta Napa Valley Homemade Pasta Sauces + Recipe Cards!
Visit Mezzetta’s website for more recipe ideas, too!
What is your favorite fall meal?