Vegetable, Paneer and Pasta Bake Recipe

by Sala @ Veggie Belly on August 5, 2011

I always enjoy the time I spend with my cousin Meena. She is such a pleasant and genuine person, and the time we spend together is always special. When we met last week (after more than a year!), we spent lazy afternoons gossipping, playing pallankuzhi, and cooking.

 This delicious vegetable, pasta and paneer bake recipe comes from Meena. She makes this vegetarian bake recipe for her post-swim meal. It is filling, and delicious without being heavy.

Meena didnt use cheese in this recipe, to keep it on the lighter side. But you can add some cheese on the top before baking. Vegans can use soy milk and tofu cubes instead of paneer (althought, I havent tried making the vegan version of this bake).

Meena microwaves the bake, which makes things very quick and easy. You can bake it as well, see instructions below. Remember, all the ingredients here already cooked – you only want to bake or microwave this dish just till the sauces bubble and the mushrooms cook.

Thanks meena, for your precious friendship, and for this delicious recipe that I know I will be making again and again.

There are multiple steps in this recipe, but dont let that put you off. Its well worth the effort. And you can make a big batch of this vegetable, paneer and pasta bake and freeze it.

Watch a step-by-step on how to make vegetable paneer and pasta bake

Vegetable Paneer and Pasta Bake Recipe

serves 3-4
Ingredients for the vegetables & paneer
6 oz paneer (substitute with drained, pressed, firm tofu)

3 cups fresh spinach, tightly packed
3.5 oz white button mushrooms (about 15 medium sized mushrooms)

Method
Cube the paneer and set aside.

Wash the spinach, and chop it. Place the washed, chopped spinach on a small wok. Cover it with a lid. Heat the wok on low heat, just untill the spinach wilts. Then remove from heat and sprinkle a little salt. Set aside.

Wipe the mushrooms clean with a paper towel. If the mushrooms have too much dirt, wash them in water, and drain well.

If the mushrooms are large, cut them in 4, if they are small, cut them in half. Set aside.

Ingredients for the pasta
1 1/2 cups cooked pasta*, such as elbow macaroni, shells, fusili, or penne
*Make sure the pasta is cooked al dente – it should not be over cooked or mushy.

Ingredients for the tomato sauce
4 small tomatoes
1 small onion (1/4th cup when chopped)
4 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
Salt & cracked pepper

Method
Core the tomato, chop it roughly and puree it in a blender.

Peel and chop the onion and garlic finely.

Heat olive oil in a small skillet. Add the chopped onion and garlic. Saute on medium heat till the onion gets translucent, about 2 minutes.

Add the pureed tomatoes and 1/4 cup water to the skillet. Bring to a boil. Now add Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Let the sauce gently boil, till it thickens a little, about 3 minutes.

Ingredients for the white sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil or melted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour (maida) or wheat flour
1 cup room temperature or cold milk, preferably whole milk
1/4 teaspoon or to taste, dried Italian seasoning
Salt and cracked pepper

Method
Place the oil or butter in a non stick sauce pan (without heat). Sprinkle the flour over the oil or melted butter. Using a whisk, stir the flour into the oil or butter to incorporate. Place the pan on a stove over low heat. Immediately, pour in milk. Whisk again till the flour dissolves.

Increase heat to medium. Cook the sauce, whisking constantly, till the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Now add Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Turn off heat.

To assemble and cook the vegetable paneer and pasta bake

Take a medium baking dish, about 8 inches in diameter. Line the bottom with the paneer cubes. Layer the wilted spinach on top of the paneer. Pour the tomato sauce all over. Next, pour the white sauce. Arrange the mushrooms and pasta on top of the white sauce.

Optional step: sprinkle 1/2 cup grated cheddar or mozzarella cheese on top. Meena didnt use cheese in this recipe.

Place the bake in a 400 f oven and bake for 15 minutes or till the sauce is bubbling. If you are baking this in the oven without cheese, you need to pour the white sauce on top of the pasta, so that the pasta doesnt dry out in the oven.

Alternatively, microwave the bake on full power for 5-8 minutes or till the sauce bubbles. Microwave ovens vary.

Serve warm with a green salad.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Comments

comments

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 nags August 5, 2011 at 3:04 am

loved idea of using video for step by step. i’ve tried this in the past but the time it took me to set up a video (with resizing images, etc) i decided against it. maybe i just didn’t know the right tools to use :) love the recipe too!

[Reply]

Reply

2 Sharmilee August 5, 2011 at 3:11 am

yummy and interesting idea

[Reply]

Reply

3 a spoonful of yumm August 5, 2011 at 3:43 am

i can never say no to pasta and its baked which makes it even more delish ! :D

[Reply]

Reply

4 Joyti August 5, 2011 at 3:47 am

Hmm, that sounds delicious! It sounds really creamy yet fresh.

[Reply]

Reply

5 Notyet100 August 5, 2011 at 4:41 am

Too good ,…:)

[Reply]

Reply

6 Nishi August 5, 2011 at 5:21 am

Loved the pasta recipe Sala. The video tutorial is simply great. Very innovative of you to come up with this idea :)

[Reply]

Reply

7 Rosa August 5, 2011 at 6:35 am

A scrumptious casserole!

Cheers,

Rosa

[Reply]

Reply

8 Lindsey August 5, 2011 at 9:49 am

This looks WONDERFUL and simple!! What Indian spices could I substitute for Italian seasoning?

Also, our new place does not have a microwave (wow, I love a cooking challenge!), would I put this under the broiler or briefly bake at a low temp?

Thanks and I always love you cooking!!!
Lindsey

[Reply]

Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

you dont need indian spices, simply leave out the Italian seasoning. if you want indian flavors in this bake, add a dash of powdered cumin and a chili powder or paprika to taste. If you read the bottom of the recipe, I tell you how long to bake it for (400f, 15 mins or so).

[Reply]

Reply

9 Apu August 5, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Oh that does look so delicious!! Just loved the fact that you can both microwave and bake this dish!! Beautiful:)

[Reply]

Reply

10 Tadka Pasta August 5, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Love the classic combo of tomato and white sauces. The pasta looks wonderful.

[Reply]

Reply

11 Kathleen Richardson August 6, 2011 at 7:11 am

I’m used to pasta with a tomato sauce OR a white sauce. Love the idea of combining them. May even use a mix of paneer and tofu! Another recipe that will get a try out in my kitchen.

[Reply]

Reply

12 Joy August 6, 2011 at 10:58 am

Looks scrumptious! You are always making me hungry with your recipes :)
Thanks for sharing this brilliant recipe!

[Reply]

Reply

13 Vijitha August 8, 2011 at 1:42 am

Simple yet exotic brunch to enjoy over long chats with friends or cousins.

[Reply]

Reply

14 Sam @ H.V.R August 11, 2011 at 7:13 am

This pasta recipe looks so YUMMY! Thank you for sharing this here. I would love to try this one this weekend! :)

[Reply]

Reply

15 Sarah with Veggie Kids August 17, 2011 at 11:41 am

This looks like real comfort food! I can’t wait to try it. I think it’s one my whole family would love!

[Reply]

Reply

16 Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets August 23, 2011 at 7:06 pm

Love this new twist on paneer! I love getting wonderful recipes from my friends and family. Makes it so much more special.

[Reply]

Reply

17 Colleen at A Curry of a Life August 30, 2011 at 5:34 pm

I just love your step-by-step video slideshow. The photos are just as stunning as what I have come to expect on your site and the video makes it super easy to cook along side with. Thank you for putting that together, such a great idea.

[Reply]

Reply

18 Bharathi December 2, 2011 at 11:43 pm

Phenomenal recipe. Tried it out & both my husband & I loved it!

[Reply]

Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

yay! glad you liked it :)

[Reply]

Reply

19 LSK March 30, 2012 at 12:14 pm

I love the site!

It just proves that Indian/Italian fusion is one of the best matches out there =)

I’ve just started my own vegetarian food blog at http://lovelysunnykitchen.blogspot.com

Please check it out and let me know what you think!

[Reply]

Reply

20 Shru May 14, 2014 at 8:22 pm

Had it for dinner tonight ! Delicious ! I have a question though..I always make white sauce just like the one you described, but I always end up having small maida lumps…it tastes great but I never seem to get the texture right. Any ideas?

[Reply]

Reply

Leave a Comment

Comment using OpenID

Page 1 of 11

Previous post:

Next post: