Mediterranean Baked Penne

9 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine November 1997

This Italian-inspired take on an American casserole is about as tasty as a one-dish meal can get.

Ingredients 8 servings

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  • 1/2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1 medium eggplant, (about 1 pound), chopped
  • 1 green or red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped, juice reserved
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound dried penne rigate, or rigatoni
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely grated part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preparation

  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Preheat oven to 375 °F. Coat a 3-quart baking dish with nonstick spray. Coat the dish with 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, tapping out the excess. Put a pot of water on to boil for cooking pasta.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini, eggplant, bell pepper, onion and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Add wine and stir until almost evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and juice. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool to room temperature.
  3. Meanwhile, cook penne (or rigatoni) in boiling salted water until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and rinse well. Toss pasta with the vegetable mixture and stir in mozzarella.
  4. Spoon the pasta mixture into prepared baking dish and drizzle eggs evenly over the top. In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Sprinkle evenly over the top.
  5. Bake pasta until golden and bubbly, 40 to 50 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through step 3, cover and chill for up to 2 days.

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 372 calories; 9 g fat(4 g sat); 8 g fiber; 57 g carbohydrates; 18 g protein; 56 mcg folate; 61 mg cholesterol; 8 g sugars; 414 IU vitamin A; 20 mg vitamin C; 223 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 394 mg sodium; 402 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 3 1/2
  • Exchanges: 3 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 medium-fat meat

Reviews 9

April 23, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Family Favorite for Many Years I started making this in 1997 and lost the recipe when we moved. I searched for it on and off for years and here it is again! I usually add extra cheese, but this is a light dish and the wine adds the unique difference. One for my daughters names this as her all-time favorite! ( We also love Baked Sicilian Spaghetti Cake which appeared in the same issue where capers and black olives make the difference! )Thank you for two of our 'family classics'! Pros: Light, wonderfully subtile and sophisticated flavor! Cons: Takes a while to make. Don't over-bake!
September 05, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Disappointing This looked like a good recipe. There are several steps, and the finished dish was really dry, though it tasted good. I don't think I'd go to the trouble of making it again. I think the recipe instruction to cook the veggies till thickened evaporated too much moisture. Pros: Tasted good! Cons: Dry, kind of a lot of work
August 12, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Took a lot of time, but it was pretty good! I used spicy bread crumbs and left out the celery for this recipe. I also didn't add any extra salt or pepper. It was great! I agree that a little less pasta could be used. I'll have to keep that in mind the next time. If you can find spicy bread crumbs, use them. I think that's really what made the difference. I got zesty breadcrumbs and was surprised to see that they were made with red pepper. It was delicious though! Pros: lots of veggies Cons: time consuming
August 01, 2012
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By: tivon9
Pretty good needs a few changes I thought this was a delicious recipe with great veggies. Not sure why there was a need for celery though. Needed lots more salt then I added I found. Also I would make sure the past is very aldente before adding to the veggies. Also cover the dish for most of the cook time maybe uncover the last 10-15min or it will burn the pasta on the top. Needs some other spice added maybe a pinch of red pepper flake...not sure I will experiment with that a bit. Pros: Love the veggies used Cons: Little bland, and need to be covered most of cooking time
November 04, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
Disappointing. Too much pasta for the veggies; not worth the time and trouble. Tasty enough to eat, but it would be easier to just use those veggies with some marinara for a nice sauce to top the pasta.
November 04, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
I was disappointed. I made it with a friend, and once he spooned it on his plate his first words were: Where did the veggies go? Which mirrored my thoughts. Once I added the pasta I immediately checked the recipe to make sure I had the amount right, because it seemed like too much; all the veggies disappeared. It was tasty enough to eat, but it would be MUCH easier and quicker to just make a nice sauce for the pasta. Not worth the trouble; save your time.
September 22, 2010
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By: bluellies
I made this exactly as written and it was pretty good. My egg ended up cooking on top, a bit odd, and the top was dry but the bottom was very moist. Half of my family liked it, and I will make again--just half the recipe, though.
March 13, 2010
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By: leelee
Loved it! But will try heidiho's variation as we felt it was a bit dry. The flavor was awesome though and hubby and co-worker thought it was great. Will make again.
January 11, 2010
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By: heidi
I just made this for the family and substituted the tomatoes for 3 cups of spicy marinara sauce. I also used an emersion blender and pureed 1/4 of it to thicken. Before I added the pasta I decided to sneak 1/2 a cup. I put it in a small, soft whole grain bun and sprinkled it with 2 Tbs of shredded mozzarella and baked it in the toaster oven at 300 degrees for 7 minutes.This was THE BEST vegie sandwich I have ever had. The original version was also a HUGE hit with the family, including the kids. A MUST try! I think the sandwich could be highly addicting. Would also make a great topping on a whole weat pizza.