Brown Butter Garden Vegetable Pasta Bake

Monday, December 3, 2012

It's Meatless Monday time! Meatless Monday, a non-profit initiative of The Monday Campaigns Inc. in association with the John Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health, encourages Americans to make healthier decisions at the start of every week by staying away from meat on Monday's as a way to improve overall health. Going meatless once a week has many benefits. It can reduce risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity, along with reducing your carbon footprint. 

Going meatless on Monday does not mean it's necessary to completely change your diet and be full-on vegetarian. However, it is hard to escape the fact that when meat is cut out, the most likely way to make up for it is to add more good-for-you fruits, veggies and grains.

Recipe adapted from How Sweet It Is

BROWN BUTTER GARDEN VEGETABLE PASTA BAKE | Yield: 4-6 servings | Prep: 35 min. | Total Time: 45 min.


2 C pasta (rigatoni, farfalle, penne, etc)
1 zucchini, chopped
1 C grape or cherry tomatoes
1 small red onion, chopped
2 ears fresh corn, cut off the cob (or 1 can)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 C freshly grated parmesan cheese
3/4 C freshly grated mozzarella cheese
fresh parsley for garnish


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prep/Chop veggies. Heat large oven-safe skillet over medium-low heat. Add olive oil, veggies, salt & pepper, stirring to coat. Cook 10-15 min. tossing occasionally until softened.

While vegetables are cooking, heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add butter, and whisk constantly, until bubbly and brown bits appear on the bottom, about 5-6 min. Remove and set aside. (NOTE: if you are planning to use additional veggies, adjust the butter accordingly)

Meanwhile, follow package instructions for cooking pasta. Drain when finished.

Turn off the heat under vegetables, add in pasta, brown butter, and parmesan. Stir to coat. Top with mozzarella and place skillet in oven. Cook for 10 min., or until cheese is melted. Remove and serve immediately, garnishing with parsley and extra cheese if desired. 

I'll be the first to admit that I've been somewhat slow to jump on board the Meatless Monday bandwagon. Not because I don't enjoy my fruits and veggies, but because I needed to work on my mindset. I grew up in a meat and potatoes type household, so the idea that it's possible to have a complete meal without the addition of meat was a revelation. It also helps, and puts my mind at ease, that I have the support of my wonderful husband who feels pretty strongly that we don't need to have meat at every meal to make it an enjoyable and healthy experience.

For meatless recipe inspiration, see Martha Stewart's Meatless Comfort Foods, Quick Meatless Recipes, EatingWell's Healthy Vegetarian Recipes, and search recipes on Meatless Monday.

Have you cooked anything without meat lately?

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