Baked Penne

This could actually be called baked penne, ziti, mostaccioli or rigatoni because I use whichever I have on hand or what is on sale. You can also add turkey or pork sausage. The secret is to use seasonal vegetables. In the summer, I use zucchini and basil but in the winter and spring I use swiss chard and spinach. San Marzano canned tomatoes are a bit more expensive but are lower in sodium. The San Marzano brand has only 95 mg of sodium per quarter cup while the Muir Glen brand has 235 mg per quarter cup.


Serves 10


2 tablespoons Olive Oil 1 large onion, finely chopped 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped 2 stalk of celery chopped 2 carrots, chopped 8 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced 1 – 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped 1 teaspoon fennel seed ½ teaspoon each of dried thyme and marjoram leaves Salt and pepper to taste 1 28 ounce can San Marzano crushed tomatoes ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated 3 cups water 16 ounces penne pasta 8 ounce mozzarella cheese, shredded

Nutritional information

No nutrition information available


In a deep skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the carrots and celery and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring regularly. Add mushrooms and spinach and cook until most of the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated. Add fennel seed, thyme and marjoram leaves, salt and pepper. Stir until spices are completely incorporated with the vegetables. Stir tomatoes into the vegetable mixture and add parmesan cheese. Slowly stir in the water and bring to a simmer. Add the pasta, stirring slowly. Cover the skillet and cook for 15 minutes. While pasta is cooking, turn on the oven to 375 degrees and preheat. After 15 minutes, remove lid and stir pasta mixture. Top with mozzarella cheese and place in oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and let the pasta sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.