Family Recipe: Baked Red Pesto and Roasted Veggie Pasta

This recipe is easy to make, and amazing. It uses Red Pesto, which has a tomato base. It’s warm, filling, and comforting.

The first thing you need to do is roast some veggies. Check my recipe here. I roast 5-ish lbs of veggies each week, so we usually have some in the fridge.

 

Baked Red Pesto and Roasted Veggie Pasta

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Boil salted water and cook pasta per package directions. As you drain, reserve some of the pasta water (about 1/2 cup).
  3. In a large baking dish (11×13) mix roasted veggies, pasta, red pesto, and add pasta water a little bit at a time, until all the pasta is coated. You may not need all 1/2 cup.
  4. Mix in 1/2 of the cheese.
  5. Smooth the mixture down into the baking dish, and bake for 20 minutes covered.
  6. After 20 minutes, top with the remaining cheese and continue to bake uncovered for 10-ish minutes until the cheese is brown and bubbly.
  7. Serve with garlic bread and a green salad.

Serves 6-8. This re-heats well, if there are any leftovers.

Notes:

  • This dish is vegetarian, but not vegan. This is a vegan red pesto, but I’ve not tried it. To make it vegan, use a vegan red pesto and vegan Italian Cheese blend.
  • Pesto is not a nut-free product! If you have a nut allergy, be careful!
  • Feel free to use your favorite pasta (high protein, gluten-free, made from soy, etc). I do not recommend shirataki noodles- They have a weird texture and smell (seriously).

 

Dream Dinners: Send a Dinner Care Package to Your Friends and Family

This is such an amazing idea- I love it! As many of you know, we lost my dad a little over a week ago, and so many people have reached out to support my mom. One of the ways is with a hot meal.

If you have someone with a loss in their family, or they are recovering from an illness, or maybe they’ve added to their family, bringing a meal is a great way to help.

Dream Dinners has a great option for February. It includes a complete, cook-from-frozen, vegetarian meal with no prep work:

Spinach & Artichoke Ravioli Bake Garlic BreadHope's Cookies

Available in 2 sizes. The medium bundle serves 2-3 and the large bundle serves 4-6. Ordering is easy, just email at lamesaca@dreamdinners.com, and Marsi’s amazing staff will work with you to schedule a pickup.

Want to send more than just one meal? Send them a Meal Prep Starter Pack with 3-6 freezer meals! For just $99, you’ll provide them with delicious, easy meals that they can thaw and enjoy any time they need a break. Marsi and her team at the La Mesa Dream Dinners location offer home delivery and can bring it right to their door for you. You can order a Meal Prep Start Pack online at DreamDinners.com.

If you aren’t in San Diego, it’s cool! There are Dream Dinners locations in 21 states, and many of those locations offer local delivery too!

La Mesa Dream Dinners: Restaurant Week Deal Special Offer!

Did You Know Interesting Fact Instagram Post (Email Header) 3
OH MY GOSH Y’ALL! Check out this amazing offer! La Mesa Dream Dinners is participating in 18th Annual Restaurant Week with a special offer for you. This is a great way to participate in Restaurant week without leaving home.

Special Offer Price $35 – Serves 3: For a limited time you can purchase 1 medium meal from the selection below. The Dinner package includes Garlic Bread and a 6 pack of Hope’s Chocolate chip cookies to bake at home.

The staff will assemble and freeze your meals for you to pick up and take home to cook.

Choose from the following menu:

Maple Glazed Pork RoastThai Coconut Shrimp over Jasmine RiceChicken and Pasta with Lemon & Artichoke Sauce
  • Maple Glazed Pork Tenderloin
  • Chicken & Artichoke Pasta
  • Thai Coconut Shrimp  over Jasmine Rice
This offer is not available online -please call/text 619-460-6800 or email lamesaca@Dreamdinners.com to place your order.

The staff will contact you for an appointment to pick up your meals at our curbside service.

I think we’ll be getting the Chicken and Artichoke Pasta- What option are you going to choose?

New Recipe: Baked Tortellini

00169 (1).jpgThis recipe is dead simple. Make it as complicated as you want. Use jarred sauce, make your own from scratch, or take a jar of sauce and church it up yourself. Whatever.

Frozen pasta, fresh pasta, heck, you can even use the shell stable/dried tortellini. You could use ravioli if you wanted.

You can make this Vegetarian, Vegan, Chock Full o’ Meat, Gluten-Free, it’s up to you.

This is one of those recipes that’s a big hit at potlucks too. It’s pretty inexpensive, and we always have the ingredients in one form or another to make a batch.

Baked Tortellini

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 cups of Red Pasta Sauce.  I usually make a big batch of this sauce and portion some out just for this recipe. If you use jarred sauce, I recommend  you add 3-4 cups of veggies (carrots, onions, celery, bell peppers, zucchini, chopped/diced tomatoes, etc.)
  • 22-30 ounces of Tortellini/Ravioli, cooked per the package directions (this will probably take a couple packages)
  • 2 Cups Italian Cheese blend

Directions:

  1. Cook the pasta per the package directions. Drain.
  2. Pour pasta sauce into a baking dish (I use a 9×13), toss cooked pasta in sauce.
  3. Sprinkle cheese on top.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-ish minutes until food is bubbly, and cheese is brown and delicious looking.
  5. Serve with hot French Bread or Garlic Bread and a green salad.

This serves 8-10 people as a main.

 

If you are vegan, substitute in filled pasta and cheese that works for you.

Family Recipe: Veggie Loaded Pasta Sauce

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I’m always on a mission to add more fruits and veggies into our diet. My pasta sauce recipe is full of veggies: Onions, peppers, carrots, zucchini, celery, fresh tomatoes.

And because I love meaty sauce, I can’t forget the 80/20 ground chuck!

I served it last night with both whole wheat pasta and Italian squash that I ran through the spiralizer (I have this one).

The kids aren’t too big on zoodles, but that’s ok. We paired our meal with a green salad (cucumber slices for the kids), and garlic bread (a family favorite).

 

Veggie Loaded Pasta Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs ground chuck or your favorite ground beef (don’t use super lean beef)
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1/2 c. each chopped or diced: carrots, celery, bell peppers (I used red)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 6 ripe tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • 1 large can (28 ounces) fire-roasted tomatoes 
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 t. Shallot pepper seasoning
  • 2 T. Italian Seasoning
  • 4 large zucchinis, spiralized, ends diced and reserved for sauce

 

Directions

  1. Brown meat in olive oil over low, breaking up meat as it cooks.
  2. Add onion, carrots, celery, bell peppers, and cook until soft and onions are translucent.
  3. Add garlic, cook until fragrant.
  4. Add fresh and canned tomatoes, and tomato paste.
  5. De-glaze pan with wine, add seasoning, and small pieces of zucchinis leftover from spiralizing.
  6. Cook on low for 2+ hours, stirring occasionally.
  7. To cook zucchini spirals, steam for 6-8 minutes, drain and serve right away!

 

This sauce freezes well too and gets better overnight in the fridge.  You can also use this sauce to make lasagna.