The Chef’s Table

Created by the Chefs of Maggiano’s Little Italy

September 10, 2013

Cheers to Vegetarian Awareness Week! Who says vegetarian dishes can’t be hearty or comforting?  We’re here to show you a recipe from one of our favorite celebrity chefs, Giada de Laurentiis, which is both vegetarian and soul-warming. With a meal as warm and cheesy as Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables, we doubt your guests will even notice it’s vegetarian!​

Serves 6
2 red peppers, cored and cut into 1" wide strips
2 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 summer squash, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 cremini mushrooms, halved
1 yellow onion, peeled and sliced into 1" strips
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt, divided
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 Tbsp dried Italian herb mix or herbs de Provence
1 pound penne pasta
3 cups marinara sauce (store bought or homemade)
1 cup grated fontina cheese
½ cup grated smoked mozzarella 1
½ cups frozen peas, thawed
¼ cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/3 cup for topping
2 Tbsp butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
On a baking sheet, toss the peppers, zucchini, squash, mushrooms, and onions with olive oil, ½teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, and dried herbs. Roast until tender, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook for about 6 minutes. Since you will be cooking the pasta a second time in the oven, you want to make sure the inside is still hard. Drain in a colander.
In a large bowl, toss the drained pasta with the roasted vegetables, marinara sauce, cheeses, peas, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Using a wooden spoon, gently mix, until all the pasta is coated with the sauce and the ingredients are combined.
Pour the pasta into a greased 9 by 13" pan. Top with the remaining 1/3 cup Parmesan and butter pieces. Bake until top is golden and cheese melts, about 25 minutes.

With fall approaching, comfort food like this goes at the top of our list! We invite you to the warm atmosphere at Maggiano’s Little Italy for your next meal out or special occasion. We also invite you to like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest, and watch us on YouTube for more recipes and ideas. Recipe and photo courtesy of

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