1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, 1 pound, halved and sliced into 1/4” slices
8 ounces crimini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced, about 10
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, or 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 – 25 ounce jar pasta sauce, I used tomato basil, see notes
4 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped, 4 ounces
1 –12 ounce box pasta, I used 100% brown rice penne
12 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2” chunks
Preheat a large 12″ skillet over medium heat, and preheat the oven to 450ºF.
Add the olive oil and sliced onion to the preheated skillet. Sauté the onions until they caramelize, about 20 minutes. Don’t be tempted to turn up the heat, the onions won’t properly caramelize over high heat.
While the onions cook, prepare the rest of the ingredients. When the onions are done, add the mushrooms and rosemary to the pan and cook just until the mushrooms begin to soften.
Meanwhile bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta until it has softened but is firmer than you would usually cook it, about 4 minutes less than the cooking time listed on the box.
Add the pasta sauce to the veggies, and simmer 1-2 minutes. Then add the spinach, stir to combine, and remove it from the heat.
Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Stir to combine and then add about 1/3 of the fresh mozzarella cubes. Mix thoroughly, then transfer the pasta into a deep dish 11″ x 7″ baking dish.
Top with the remaining mozzarella and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese begins to bubble and brown.
You can also use 1-28 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes blended into a sauce. You’ll need to simmer it for 5 minutes in the skillet with the onions and mushrooms and season to taste with salt.
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: Vegetarian Pasta Bake, Pasta Bake, Baked Pasta, Vegetable Pasta Bake, Easy Vegetable Pasta Bake