How to Make Baked Pasta Primavera

Pasta Primavera, a dish consisting of pasta and fresh vegetables, is healthy in itself, but when baked, becomes a highly nutritious meal which takes less than an hour to prepare. Healthy and colourful, with crisp vegetables, baked pasta Primavera is topped with bread crumbs, to give it an added crunch and toasty flavour.

Prep time: 30 min
Bake time: 20 to 25 min
Total time: 50 to 55 min
Yield: 4 servings
Utensils: Baking dish, medium sized-pan, baking sheet, spoon, large bowl, serving plates and spoons.

Ingredients:
Unsalted butter: 4 tablespoons
All-purpose flour: 3 tablespoons
Milk: 1 cup
Low-sodium chicken broth: 1 cup
Salt and pepper
Grated parmesan: 3/4 cup
Ziti: 8 ounces
Mixed frozen vegetables, or fresh vegetables: 1 1-lb package
Plain bread crumbs: 1/3 cup

Instructions

  • 1

    Start the preparation by preheating your oven to 375°F. You will also need to lightly grease a 2-quart (11-by-7-inch) baking dish.

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  • 2

    Next, start preparing the sauce. Place a medium-sized pan on the stove over medium-high heat, and add in 3 tablespoons of butter. Melt this, and then add in the flour, stirring continuously until both the butter and flour are blended and form a paste.

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  • 3

    Then, pour in the milk and broth, and using a whisk, incorporate them with the butter and flour. Keep cooking and stirring it, until it forms a smooth, thick sauce – this should take around 10 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper, add in 1/4 cup Parmesan, and stir it in until the sauce is smooth and ready. Take it off the heat, and set this aside for now.

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  • 4

    Now, begin working on preparing the pasta. Place a large pot filled with lightly salted water on the stove, and bring it up to a boil. Add the ziti to the boiling water, and cook it for around 5 minutes, or until it becomes soft.

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  • 5

    Then, lower the heat, and add in your vegetables. Slowly bring the pot back up to a boil, and allow it to cook for around 3 minutes before pouring it out in a colander. Drain the pasta and vegetables of excess water, and then return them to the pot.

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  • 6

    Pour the sauce into the pot of pasta and vegetables, and mix it all together, until all the pasta and vegetables are coated evenly with the sauce. Then, proceed to spread all this evenly in the baking dish you prepared earlier.

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  • 7

    In a separate small dish, mix up the remaining Parmesan cheese with the bread crumbs. Melt the remainder of the butter, and pour it into the cheese and bread crumbs. Mix it all together, and sprinkle it all over the top of the pasta.

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  • 8

    Slide the dish into the preheated oven, to bake for around 20 to 25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and bubbling. Serve hot.

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