I had some concerns when I pulled the thawed bag out of the refrigerator. You know how pasta has a tendency to soak up whatever it’s sitting in? The alfredo sauce, which had been copious when placed in the bag, was virtually invisible. I was rather afraid we were going to end up with a plate of plain noodles and veg… significantly less exciting. Anywho, like the good little trooper I am, I followed the directions, microwaved (although I’m not sure what that step is for and will probably skip it next time), and poured into the casserole.
As has become the omni-present theme in this freezer cooking blog, it turned out great, and just look at that picture! You could rename this dish “pasta confetti alfredo.” It’s like a party in a pan! My fears were totally unfounded. The flavor was rich, and the texture was creamy. The alfredo really was mostly sucked into the noodle, but that wasn’t such a bad thing after all – it was like they had an alfredo infusion. I did wonder what would happen if I left the alfredo out on cooking day, and added it on serving day. (Per my previous experience, it would probably be just fine.) It would create a dirty mixing bowl and an extra step on serving day, but the alfredo would be much more pronounced. I’ll experiment with that the next time.
Non-cooks: Don’t be frightened when you look at the recipe. There’s a lot of ingredients, but it’s actually really easy to make. And don’t let the phrase “flash saute” throw you either. It just means get the pan hot, so the veggies brown but don’t get soft.
Side note: Don’t let the veggies get soft on cooking day, either when steaming or sauteeing. They will get nice and tender when you bake them, and if you overdo it on cooking day, all you will have is mush. Eew.
1.5c summer squash, sliced 3/8”
1.5c zucchini, sliced 3/8”
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
8oz baby bellos, sliced 3/8”
1 small head broccoli, chopped
1.5c carrots, sliced
24oz whole wheat penne
3 tsp minced garlic
fresh ground pepper
30oz alfredo sauce
slice squash, zucchini, peppers, mushrooms, & carrots
1. Place zucchini and squash in a gallon ziplock bag
with 1T EVOO, and spice liberally with basil
oregano, pepper, and parsley. Shake to coat.
2. Repeat with peppers and mushrooms in second bag
3. Steam broccoli and carrots
4. Cook pasta according to directions, drain, and return
pasta to pot
5. Stir in alfredo, broccoli and carrots
6. In a very hot saute pan, flash saute squash mix until
just browned, half the bag at a time & add to pasta
7. Repeat with pepper mix
8. Mix well, cool, and place in freezer bags
1. Thaw overnight
2. Microwave on high 1-2 min, stirring once
3. Bake at 325 for 30-40 min
4. Sprinkle with parmesan and serve
Servings: Appx 12 1.5c servings
Adapted from the original recipe from sparkrecipes.com user JAZZORAMA.