It can be difficult to stay on track when it comes to sticking to eating habits that support your resolution to start the year with a clean slate and a renewed focus on health and wellbeing. So we thought we’d give you a helping hand with a scrumptious yet wholesome and comforting easy sharing recipe that will help switch up that mid-week meal. Getting a delicious kick from vibrant veggies and Italian aromas and oozing with deliciously melty mozzarella, this Very Veggie Pasta Bake will definitely be a dinner winner! Just gather the ingredients and follow the step-by-step instructions to thrill everyone with the easy, healthy restaurant-style recipe, which was developed by Marks & Spencer’s in-house experts and chef, Chris Baber.
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 aubergine, cut into 1cm cubes
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
- 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
- 1 bunch (25g) basil, leaves picked and stalks chopped
- 300g wholewheat penne pasta
- 250g Piccolini vine tomatoes
- 80g spinach
- 1 ball (125g) lighter mozzarella, torn into small pieces
- 1 bag (120g) sweet baby leaf salad, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas mark 6.
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan on a medium heat and fry the aubergine cubes for three-five minutes until they take on some colour. Add the garlic, cooking for a further two minutes.
- Next, add the chopped tomatoes and basil stalks, season generously with salt and pepper, and cook uncovered for 10-15 minutes until you have a thick sauce.
- While the sauce is simmering, cook the wholewheat penne pasta for one minute less than the packet instructions in a large pan of boiling salted water.
- Remove the tomatoes from the vine, add half of the pack to the sauce whole, then stir in the spinach and most of the basil leaves, saving a little to garnish.
- Mix in the cooked pasta with the sauce, transfer to an ovenproof dish, sprinkle over the torn mozzarella and bake for 15 minutes until golden and bubbly.
- Add the remaining basil leaves to the top of the bake and serve with the remaining tomatoes and salad leaves.