Ummmm. So what does it mean when pasta is your detox meal?
Okay. It’s not really my detox meal per se… but it’s definitely what I made yesterday afternoon to have a, uh, lighter meal on hand all week. Unfortunately I’m serious.
Pasta and cheese – so super light! But it’s getting me to eat vegetables so that counts. Whatever.
I cannot even begin to describe the indulgence that happened this weekend for my husband’s birthday. It is actually shocking to ME. It was sort of like three full days (but also a few days before that, oops) of celebrations and cakecakecake. And more cake. It.was.perfect.
Even if I felt like I never needed to eat again about four different times.
This recipe started as a clean-out-the-fridge, garbage bowl pasta type of meal. We had lots of vegetables that were on their last leg (not exactly uncommon around here, but more so this week since we ate out a lot) and tons of cheese – also not uncommon. In fact, it was the smoked gouda that got me all hyped.
For the last two months or so, not only have we been living on tomatoes and corn but along with that we’ve been making some ridiculous cheese boards. I mean – ridiculous. We throw about five different cheeses out there with three or four of our favorite american spoon spreads, a little fruit, some whole grain baguettes, some mustard, some honey and a few slices of prosciutto or something of the sort. Then we pour some wine and just go nuts.
This is a pretty huge thing because back when we started dating, Eddie claimed that he “didn’t like cheese.” Uh – what? That pretty much made zero sense to me considering I lived on cheese. There was no love lost on microwaved cheese quesadillas after school. I often sliced some creamy havarti for a little snack. To this day, my mom still has some cheese and crackers for lunch because she eats minimally throughout the day until dinnertime. Not liking cheese? WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN.
I do remember opening up his bachelor fridge and it was a sad, sad sight. I think he had eggs and ketchup? However, within a few months, he had a cheese drawer. Like a stuffed-to-the-brim cheese drawer. And it really hasn’t stopped since. I mean, occasionally he’ll be like “omg, I need to stop eating so much cheese!” but I usually squash that within a few days. He has actually been the cheese board protagonist, especially after discovering his infatuation with triple berry conserve (so freaking good) and merlot soaked parm. I can’t even take it.
So yeah. That’s how this came about. This dish is so simple but packed with tons of flavor and makes an extremely generous portion. Last night he packed up his lunches with a big old helping of this since you know, it’s healthy. I just sat there with a fork and picked some pieces out of the giant baking dish.
Because I am a child.
Yield: serves 4 to 6
Total Time: 1 hour
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 pound brussel sprouts, stems removed and sliced
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 pound whole wheat penne, cooked
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
8 ounces smoked gouda cheese, freshly grated
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese for topping
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Place the chopped peppers, sweet potato, broccoli, onion, brussels, mushrooms and garlic cloves on a nonstick baking sheet. Drizzle the veggies with the olive oil and honey. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper (I do try to avoid directly covering the mushrooms with salt before cooking, but they will inevitably get a bit) and then give them a thorough toss. Roast the veggies for 25 to 30 minutes, tossing them once halfway through. I cook the penne while the veggies are roasting.
Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray. Add the penne and half of the veggies, then spoon half of the diced tomatoes over top. Add half of the grated cheese, then layer again with the remaining penne, veggies, diced tomatoes and cheese. Finish the top off with a sprinkling of breadcrumbs. Bake the pasta for 25 to 30 minutes, until the cheese is golden and bubbly on top. Serve with extra cheese for grating on top.
This stays great in the fridge for 4 to 5 days - it's an awesome make ahead meal.