Heather is happiest when taking a beautiful photo, creating something in her kitchen, or elbows-deep in a DIY project.
Healthy Pasta Recipes for Dinner
I love this dish so much that I have been known to make it twice in the same week. This recipe for vegetable pasta serves four, so it actually yields two meals for my household (myself and my husband). Making it twice in the same week means eating it four times! That is truly a testament to how much I love this pasta casserole. This healthy pasta meal tastes even better as leftovers the next day—if you have any, that is.
I enjoy making this pasta dinner as much as I enjoy eating it. Sometimes, my husband and I get home from work around 9:00 p.m. and we're both pretty tired. This meal is on our plates in twenty minutes or less. You can spend twenty minutes preparing a pre-boxed dinner that has so much junk in it. I won't lie; I love Tuna Helper, but not as much as I love knowing exactly what ingredients are in my dinner because I put them there myself.
About the Ingredients
What Is Bow Tie Pasta?
It's actually farfalle pasta, although bow tie pasta is a more common name for it. Farfalle, pronounced far-fall-lay, is the plural form of farfalla—Italian for "butterfly." It's my favorite pasta, partly because it's the prettiest.
What Is Fontina Cheese?
Fontina is an Italian cheese made from cow's milk. It melts beautifully, without getting stringy like other cheeses. This makes fontina ideal for using in fondue. I used Boar's Head fontina cheese for this cheesy veggie pasta dish.
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
- 12 ounces bow-tie pasta, uncooked
- 2 cups broccoli
- 1 cup carrots, sliced
- 1 cup (8 ounces) mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 cup (8 ounces) Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- 1 cup (8 ounces) Fontina cheese, shredded
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated and divided
- 3 tablespoons margarine, melted
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Cook pasta on stovetop according to package directions. Add veggies during the last two minutes of cooking. Drain.
- Gently toss pasta mixture in large bowl with melted margarine, shredded cheese, and half of the Parmesan cheese. Turn into large casserole dish.
- Sprinkle top with remaining Parmesan cheese.
- Bake in 450°F oven for 5 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
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Tips for Saving Money on Dinner
- Compare prices on shredded vs. block cheeses. I bought my mozzarella, Monterey jack, and fontina cheeses by the block or wedge and shredded them myself with the cheese grater on my Salad Master. Buying already shredded cheese can be more expensive unless you find them on sale.
- I used fresh carrots and broccoli florets, but if you're pressed for time or money, pick up a bag of frozen veggies. You could substitute a bag of frozen California vegetables, which would also have cauliflower in the mix. I've prepared this dish with fresh carrots that have been crinkle-cut or shredded at home. Both techniques are very pretty in this dish.
- Using shaker Parmesan cheese can save some steps and money. I've made this dish with freshly grated Parmesan as well as shaking it from the can—both are yummy. Don't be embarrassed. I love the canned stuff, and I've always got it in the fridge.
Time-Saving Dinner Tips
- Although they might be a little pricier, you can find shredded carrots and pre-cut broccoli florets in the produce department. They're usually located by the pre-packaged salads.
- Prepare this meal the day before. Stick it in the frig overnight, and then reheat in the oven when needed. I personally love leftovers, and this is a dish that keeps nicely and tastes even better the second time.
- Buy cheeses that are already grated. Find a mix that is a three-cheese blend and contains at least 3 cups (or 4 if you're skipping the Parmesan).
Make this easy pasta casserole for dinner on your day off, and bring the leftovers to work the next day and enjoy them for lunch. Even if you can't reheat it at work, it's yummy as a cold pasta salad, too. This cheesy veggie pasta is healthier than a lot of your nearby lunch options during the work week, and you can keep a little money in your wallet, too.
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