I face this challenge quite a bit.
The craving for comfort food, but then the guilt because you know you should be making a healthy choice. That doesn’t happen all the time, but more often than I’d like. Sometimes combining the two just don’t work out, ya know? Then sometimes it does. Like this, for instance.
I loaded a bunch of veggies and a little spicy sausage into this cheesy pasta dish and the guilt magically went away. BOOM. And everyone’s happy, especially this pregnant lady.
The other nice piece about this dish is you can swap in your favorite vegetables. So if you don’t like broccoli, it wont make or break if you leave it out.
Oh and yes, I’m still pregnant. 38 weeks, actually.
BUT, last week was my first full week of maternity leave and I’ve been crossing things off my to do list left and right. Feels AMAZING. However, it’s a good thing this is our last child because my husband would never let me take leave prior next time. He’s come hime to new decorative pillows, throws, rug, art and that’s for both the family room AND the nursery… I did also organize my cookbook collection by color, alphabetize our spices and made a freezer meal.
Gosh, I love nesting. Him, not so much.
So, I worked with one of my favorite company’s, DeLallo who provided me with their gluten-free products (& compensation) and I’ve been in heaven. Excuse me, my entire family has been in heaven. Like I always say, I only work with company’s that I believe in and actually use – they’re absolutely one of them. Everything from the gluten-free pasta options, to the sauces, antipasti, etc. They are top notch.
Vegetable and Cheesy Pasta Bake, Gluten-free
- 6-8 ounces of uncooked Fussilli DeLallo pasta
- 2 sausage links – My favorite is Cajun Style Andouille (if vegetarian, leave out)
- 3 tablespoons EV olive oil
- 1 small head of broccoli, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 yellow squash, cut small and quartered
- 1/2 zucchini, cut small and quartered
- salt + pepper
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 2 cups pasta sauce – I used a Tomato Basil
- 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano
- 1 cup mozzarella
*Note: if there are vegetables here that you don’t like, simply omit them or replace with ones you do like.
Preheat oven 375 degrees.
Warm a large pan over medium-high heat. If using precooked sausage (like I did), cut lengthwise down the middle, lay flat and then continue slicing small half/bite sizes. If using uncooked sausage, remove from casing and pinch off small pieces into a pan. Add the sausage (cooked or uncooked). Add olive oil and broccoli since that takes the longest to soften. After 5 or so minutes, add in the yellow squash and zucchini. Toss around to everything is coated. Add salt and pepper to taste – I like a lot of salt, so I added about 1 teaspoon. Remove from the stove.
Meanwhile, in a medium pot of boiling <salted> water, cook the pasta. *make sure to not over-cook. It’s best when al dente so cook for less time then recommended. Drain the pasta and add to the veggie/sausage pan. Add the tomatoes and pasta sauce and mix everything <carefully> together.
In a bowl, mix together the two cheeses.
Spray a medium sized baking dish (I used an 8 1/2 X 10 1/2) with non-stick cooking spray. Carefully add half of the pasta mixture and then sprinkle half the cheese mixture. Then add the remaining pasta mix and top with the remaining cheese. For extra spice, add red pepper flakes.
Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes or until the cheese has melted and bubbles slightly.
Remove, serve and enjoy!
*gluten-free * Vegetarian if you omit the sausage
August 25 2014