Saturday, August 14, 2010

Penne with Zucchini and Marinara Sauce

The other day, my daughter told me she had a newfound love for zucchini. She's already a huge fan of pasta and marinara sauce, so I thought...hmmm...why not combine the three? The result is a pretty darn good Penne with Zucchini and Marinara Sauce. I served it with fresh-from-the-farmer's market green beans that I put in a foil packet to cook at the same time. It all worked out great :-)
Penne with Zucchini and Marinara Sauce
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 ounce pancetta or bacon, chopped (my store was out of pancetta so I substituted bacon)
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 medium zucchinis, chopped (I cut them in quarters, then made 1/2 inch slices)
16 ounces penne, cooked and drained
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup shredded Swiss (or provolone...whatever you have)
1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray cooking spray on a 9 x 13 pan. In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Cook the bacon until crisp, add the onions and garlic and cook 5-7 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping up any brown bits. Add basil, oregano, red pepper, canned tomatoes and diced zucchini. Cook about 10 minutes, until zucchini is slightly soft (not all the'll cook the rest of the way in the oven).
Mix the penne and tomato mixture, then spread in 9 x 13 pan. Sprinkle with mix of mozarella and Swiss. In a small bowl, mix the grated parmesan and Panko bread crumbs, then sprinkle evenly on top of the casserole.
(see below for green bean directions if you want to cook those at the same time).

Bake at 450 for 15-20 minutes, until cheese is browned and crisp. Remove and let stand for five minutes before serving.
Foil Packet Green Beans
Take two pieces of heavy duty aluminum foil and lay them in opposite directions over each other (creating a cross shape). Put green beans in center, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon each of garlic powder and kosher salt. Seal the foil packet, then put in the oven at 450 degrees for 20 minutes.
This meal was a hit with the kids, which made me happy since it's loaded with veggies :-)


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