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Pasta Bake

by Meghann on May 16, 2011

I’m beat. Today was a busy one.

I had plans to meet friends for yoga & dinner this evening, but an overload of work and the strong desire to stay home forced those plans to be postponed. I even had to turn Derek’s brother down when he invited us over for dinner about 15 minutes after I had cancelled my plans with friends. Staying home and cooking in my own kitchen was the only thing I wanted. πŸ™‚

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Anyone who reads my blog regularly knows I’m not a pasta fan. It’s a pointless, flavorless carb in my opinion. (cue the attack! πŸ™‚ ) When I was younger my Dad would always pump the sauce up with meatballs or sausage when he made pasta so i could have make a sandwich with the pumped up sauce instead. My Dad was always the best. πŸ™‚

I still despise regular ole spaghetti (yuck!), but every once in a while I don’t mind whole wheat pasta pumped up with tons of veggies and good sauce. Derek LOVES pasta and knowing it makes him happy makes me happy.

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Tonight’s pasta dish was more of a pasta casserole bake – heavy on the veggies and cheese. πŸ˜‰

I started with onion, eggplant, and broccoli that I sauteed on the stovetop with olive oil, garlic, fennel seed, and rosemary. I added the veggies to a casserole dish then mixed in cooked whole wheat noodles, a jar of pasta sauce and half a container of ricotta cheese. Topped with mozzarella cheese, cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375 for 20 minutes. Remove aluminum foil and bake for 10 minutes.

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The dish was great. I especially enjoyed the addition of the fennel seed, with gave the bake a nice italian flavor to it. The spurts of ricotta cheese also added a rich creaminess to the sauce.

Not all pasta is bad when done right. πŸ˜‰

I had a serving of Cappuccino Chip for dessert.

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Is there anything you’re not a fan of, but your significant other LOVES so you make it anyways?

1 Katy (The Singing Runner) May 16, 2011 at 10:19 pm

I’m not a pasta fan either for the same reasons as you— it’s pretty pointless and bland. And I’m Italian!!! πŸ˜‰
Katy (The Singing Runner) recently posted..I Have A Box

2 Miranda @ Working Mom Works Out May 16, 2011 at 10:22 pm

We rarely do pasta, too… For the same reasons. But this looks good.

3 Liv @ The Salty n' Sweet May 16, 2011 at 10:25 pm

I totally agree with you on the pasta thing. I will ALWAYS choose pizza over pasta!

Since my boyfriend NEEDS meat to survive each meal, I definitely started cooking more meat. Though I sometimes end up making a whole separate dinner for myself because I’m not much of a meat eater.
Liv @ The Salty n’ Sweet recently posted..A Sweet Ending

4 Courtney @ the granola chronicles May 16, 2011 at 10:25 pm

Fish! My husband loves it, but I’m just not the biggest fan. I’ve learned to tolerate mahi mahi, but only every few months or so!

5 lauren alysse May 16, 2011 at 10:28 pm

this looks super good! i’m all about pasta only if it has tons of veggies in it as well. i always pump up my pasta sauce with spinach, peppers, carrots, onions, etc. LOVE πŸ™‚
lauren alysse recently posted..BEST RUN EVER

6 amanda May 16, 2011 at 10:33 pm

that dinner looks smacks-the-lips good! yummm.

anddddd cappuccino chip ice cream sounds charmingly delicious!

7 Jenny (Fit Girl Foodie) May 16, 2011 at 10:33 pm

Love the pasta bake! My bf is a big salmon lover and I’m not but I still make it for him anyways πŸ™‚

8 michelle May 16, 2011 at 10:36 pm

Meat. My husband loves all things meat but me, not so much. But we make it work
michelle recently posted..Creating a Marathon Training Plan

9 Rebecca @ How the Cookies Crumble May 16, 2011 at 10:43 pm

I had pasta packed with eggplant, mushrooms and onions tonight! I love a chunky red tomato sauce!

10 Alaina May 16, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Oh, I looove pasta!!

I think I eat more than my husband will. I like beans and eggs. He won’t touch them.
Alaina recently posted..5 Napkin Burger

11 breakingsilence @ Freshman -15 May 16, 2011 at 10:48 pm

I don’t eat a ton of pasta either, but when I do, I LOVE whole wheat. I’ve gotten to the point where I can’t eat white pasta anymore. There’s no flavor to it! I make my own version of mac and cheese with whole wheat penne or bowtie pasta, a ton of steamed veggies (usually corn/peas/broccoli/green beans…I think I did asparagus once), and whatever cheese I have on hand melted throughout. SO good.
breakingsilence @ Freshman -15 recently posted..Oh hey summer- whats up!

12 Kacy May 16, 2011 at 10:55 pm

I love pasta! It would definitely make me feel loved if my loved one made it for me πŸ™‚
Kacy recently posted..Chocolate Giveaway Winner!

13 Laura @ LauraLikesDesign May 16, 2011 at 10:55 pm

definitely not a pasta fan either
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14 Holly @ The Runny Egg May 16, 2011 at 10:58 pm

Thankfully Jason and I like most of the same foods — I guess the only thing is that I eat more salads or meals on top of salads and he prefers eating more meat and carbs.
Holly @ The Runny Egg recently posted..Pizza Bread

15 J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) May 16, 2011 at 10:59 pm

That pasta bake looks scrumptious! I really like pasta–even plain. But I agree that it’s so much better with other flavorful components.
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16 Erin May 16, 2011 at 11:07 pm

I kind of agree with you that pasta is just a vehicle for whatever sauce you put on it. That being said, my perfect pre-race meal is pasta so, there you go.

My husband LOOOOOOOVES steak. I am not a huge fan. But I’ll buy it every now and then and make it for dinner. Also, he loves bacon but I refuse to cook that unless I’m putting it into soup.
Erin recently posted..Weekly Workout Wround Up

17 VeggieGirl May 16, 2011 at 11:16 pm

“Cue the attack” HAHAHA love it πŸ˜€

18 Kate (What Kate is Cooking) May 16, 2011 at 11:19 pm

I don’t like pasta anymore! I used to love it… don’t know what happened πŸ™‚
Kate (What Kate is Cooking) recently posted..Nothing Special

19 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife May 16, 2011 at 11:29 pm

I love whole wheat pasta…it can be SO good!! your recipe/meal looks fab πŸ™‚

20 Kelley May 16, 2011 at 11:30 pm

I’m shocked at how many people don’t like pasta. I think I could survive on it. πŸ™‚
Kelley recently posted..Good Nights End with Menchies

21 Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food May 16, 2011 at 11:41 pm

I have to say I didn’t used to be as much of a pasta fan but I have come to really enjoy it. I do like to have more sauce and toppings then pasta though πŸ™‚

Hope you get a great, restful night’s sleep! πŸ™‚

22 Kaitlin May 16, 2011 at 11:42 pm

always good to take a break when things are getting crazy! I still make bacon for my boyfriend– he’s mostly a vegetarian but still loves the stuff! So I oblige πŸ™‚
Kaitlin recently posted..20 Miles and 5-3 Riverbank Run 25K

23 Amanda (tomboy that wears makeup) May 17, 2011 at 12:25 am

Honestly, I’m the same with you and pasta- I think it’s pointless! lol…

24 Krystina (Organically Me) May 17, 2011 at 12:30 am

Gasp! I love pasta so much. I’m probably one of the only people who prefers white pasta to wheat. And white pizza dough to wheat. Sorry, some things just taste better the way they were originally made.
Krystina (Organically Me) recently posted..On Losing It- and Gaining It Weight- Happiness- and Peace- Part III

25 Mac May 17, 2011 at 12:53 am

I am so not picky, but he is… sometimes it drives me nut that dishes I love I can’t make for him so I have to wait when it’s just me. He is, however, branching out a little more on his food options, yay!
Mac recently posted..Cucumber-Orzo Salad &amp Red Velvet Whoopie Pie Recipes

26 Jamie@everydaydolce May 17, 2011 at 1:49 am

I love that dish! What a great dinner…I am slowly starting to love pasta as I’ve learned new and creative ways to eat it. I used to think pasta had to be paired with marinara sauce to be good but now I know better πŸ™‚
Jamie@everydaydolce recently posted..The merry things of may

27 Emma (Namaste Everyday) May 17, 2011 at 3:39 am

great recipe! I love the casserole take on it. so comforting!
Emma (Namaste Everyday) recently posted..β€œAnd now for the Dancing Pants”

28 Hats @ See How She Runs May 17, 2011 at 5:15 am

I LOVE pasta! I don’t think it’s bland at all, totally the opposite but each to his/her own! I prefer wholeweat over white pasta (except when it’s comfort food. Stressed + white pasta + mayo? Alllll better) . I recently discovered a wheat-free pasta made with corn and rice flour – it’s my new favourite.
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29 Allison @ Will Run For Candy May 17, 2011 at 6:05 am

My little Italian heart breaks for everyone who dislikes pasta so! It’s so much more than just a flavorless carb!

If you really want to blow Derek’s pasta mind (and yours!) homemade noodles will change your life.
Allison @ Will Run For Candy recently posted..Why traveling is scarier than half marathons

30 Lauren May 17, 2011 at 6:46 am

I feel the same way as you on pasta. It does nothing for me! Give me a huge plate of veggie covered is sauce and cheese and I’m one happy lady. πŸ™‚
Lauren recently posted..Why I Wont Have a Good Week

31 Jumanah @ Healthy Living in the Middle East May 17, 2011 at 7:02 am

I love pasta but feel like it never fills me up or I have to eat several servings in order to be full! Your dish does look fabulous though! YUM!
Jumanah @ Healthy Living in the Middle East recently posted..Huge

32 Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun May 17, 2011 at 7:32 am

I’m not a huge pasta fan either. And I married an Italian. LOL

Let’s just say we do a lot of similar dishes in our house. Veggies for me. Noodles for him. All in one bowl. Easy dinner. Win. Win.
Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun recently posted..Winners- Features- &amp Runs

33 Hope May 17, 2011 at 7:45 am

I love pasta! I try not to eat it all that often but it’s hard because I like it so much. My fiance and I pretty much like all of the same foods. He likes to eat red meat more than I do. That’s about it though. He likes when I make roasted potatoes for him so I try to do that often πŸ™‚
Hope recently posted..Buffalo Chicken Macaroni &amp Cheese…

34 Errign May 17, 2011 at 8:29 am

My ex was such a picky eater. We ate a lot of meat and pasta together, even though veg-heavy is more of my thing. πŸ™‚
Errign recently posted..Faux Ireland

35 Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me May 17, 2011 at 8:57 am

omg I love pasta! How many times have you heard that now? lol. While I really do like it I try to eat it sparingly because it is very calorie dense. I prefer to get nutrients from other sources. But once in a while I do enjoy it.

Mike really likes heavy, creamy dishes, things smothered in gravies, etc etc so I will make them for him sometimes (aka rarely). Dishes like that are good but aren’t really on my meal plans anymore. Too unhealthy.
Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me recently posted..Docks and Birthday Fun

36 Mimi May 17, 2011 at 9:15 am

I’ve never heard it phrased like that, but I feel the same way about pasta! The only way I feel compelled to eat it is if it’s covered with lots of veggies (<<I don't like pasta sauce much either)!
Mimi recently posted..Two months!

37 Beth @ DiningAndDishing May 17, 2011 at 9:42 am

I’m with you – I find pasta kind of boring! The nice thing about it though is that it’s such a plain base – you can jazz it up in so many ways! Since discovering so many variations, it’s often something I like to make when serving a lot of people. Usually a crowd pleaser!
Beth @ DiningAndDishing recently posted..The Wine…

38 Sarah for Real May 17, 2011 at 11:49 am

Hahaha my husband wants me to buy a deep fat fryer. Over my dead body!

Just a quick comment on the pasta-hater thing… Maybe next time you should pick up some real Italian pasta made only with 100% durum wheat semolina and water. They legally regulate what can be called “pasta” in Italy so it is worlds different than the enriched wheat flour crap we call pasta here.

I agree that typical American pasta is just tasteless carbs, but I bet you and Derek would enjoy some real Italian pasta!

39 Katie P May 17, 2011 at 5:28 pm

I am not a huge pasta fan either…. but gnocchi that is a WHOLE different story. I crave those luscious pillow dumplings!

40 Kristen @ The Concrete Runner May 17, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Wow! I honestly thought I was the only person who wasn’t a big pasta fan. Before running the Chicago Marathon, I went to Sweet Tomatoes for dinner because I would rather eat bread than pasta. However, that has all changed thanks to pregnancy. Now I can’t get enough pasta. Oh, pregnancy cravings…
Kristen @ The Concrete Runner recently posted..cookies for grandma

41 Kate May 17, 2011 at 9:26 pm

I love pasta. I never liked it growing up, but fell in love with eating it on a trip to Italy. Whole wheat is fine, but I am all about fresh pasta (esp. homemade) because of the flavor and the texture. And this time of year, with gorgeous fresh veggies, it is a go-to meal. Veggies grilled or sauteed with olive oil, crushed red pepper, and garlic tossed with homemade pasta and finished with some finely grated pecorino. So good.

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