Have you made baked pasta with roasted vegetables before? If you haven’t, you just have to try this amazing recipe inspired by a dish we loved in France. It’s perfect for an easy summer meal!
I recently shared that I used to think I didn’t like eggplant (can’t even remember why I had that in my head), but I decided to give it another chance last year and have slowly started to change my mind. I’ve even caught myself ordering it at a restaurant and craving it in dishes at home—what a turn around!
This recipe below is inspired by one of our favorite restaurant meals in France and actually included a pork chop as well (pictured above). And it wasn’t at an uppity, expensive restaurant in Paris … just at a little roadside café in the small town of Cluny at the uber reasonable cost of 8 Euros (about 10 bucks).
Vegetables for Summer Pasta Bake
Eggplant, zucchini, and Roma tomatoes are all in season during the summer making them perfect choices for a seasonal pasta bake. They’re also easy to grow in a backyard garden or patio container for an even healthier meal!
Eggplant is great because it’s hearty, nutritious, and absorbs the flavors of whatever it’s cooked with. If you haven’t tried it or don’t think you like eggplant, try it cooked in a flavorful pasta dish; it totally changes the experience.
For this recipe, leave the skin on the eggplant. If you must substitute, summer squash is a great alternative.
Another light summer vegetable, zucchini adds a natural sweetness to dishes, especially when cooked. Like eggplant, zucchini will take on the flavor of the dish making it a perfect addition to a pasta bake for picky eaters.
Roma tomatoes help balance the subtle flavors of zucchini and eggplant in this dish. You can also use other tomato varieties, but they may be more watery. Romas are less juicy than other tomatoes, so make sure you drain any tomato substitutes to avoid a soggy dish.
Other Vegetable Ideas for Baked Pasta
I love baked pasta with vegetables because you can easily swap the veggies for anything you have on hand. Baked pasta is a great way to use up produce you bought for another recipe or to make use of in season garden vegetables.
Here are some great vegetable options for pasta:
- Bell peppers
- Summer squash
- Cherry tomatoes
What’s the Best Whole Wheat Pasta to Enjoy with Summer Vegetables?
You can use any whole wheat pasta you have on hand for this baked pasta recipe. We made ours with spaghetti, and the restaurant dish in France that inspired this recipe used rotini. Penne, farfalle, linguine, and fusilli are also fantastic options.
Substitutions for White Wine in this Recipe
Cooking with wine adds authentic flavor to this European-inspired pasta dish, but I understand it’s not for everyone. Here are some things you can use instead of white wine in this recipe:
- White wine vinegar is the closest substitution. It’s basically a dry white wine without the alcohol in it, but it’s definitely more acidic so use less. Other white vinegars including rice wine vinegar can also be used.
- Vegetable or chicken stock can be used. If your stock (or broth) is bland, add extra seasoning. If it’s salted, taste your pasta before adding more salt.
- Apple cider vinegar has a similar flavor profile to white wine and still tastes great, especially if you enjoy the taste already, but again, use a little less.
- Equal parts water and lemon juice can also add tanginess and flavor without alcohol.
Can This Roasted Summer Vegetable Pasta Be Made Ahead and Frozen?
Yes! This is a great option for a freezer meal that you can enjoy later. You can either freeze a whole pre-cooked casserole or divide it into portions to enjoy later.
To freeze: First follow the recipe to make this roasted vegetable pasta dish, including baking. Once the pasta has cooled completely it can be frozen. Make sure to label leftovers and freeze them in airtight containers (or in a full pan covered with foil).
To thaw leftover baked pasta: Let it thaw in the fridge overnight then reheat in the microwave or oven or stovetop (with a little water added to the pan).