Today’s hearty baked pasta dish is pure comfort food! A great choice for a potluck or casual family dinner, everyone will want to dig into this tasty casserole. I use a combination of gruyere cheese with its superb melting qualities and parmesan cheese in the topping for a crispy contrast. I sneak a few healthy veggies into the mix for even more flavor and texture. Who’s hungry?
This post contains affiliate links.
- 1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1/2 sweet onion, cut into large dice
- 6 cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 small zucchini 1/2″ dice
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- olive oil
- 8 oz. ground beef
- 8 oz. ground veal
- 3/4 tsp. Tuscan seasoning, divided
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. oregano
- 1 tsp. basil
- 8 oz. gluten free penne
- cooking spray
- 1/3 cup gluten free seasoned breadcrumbs
- Italian parsley for garnish
Grate the cheese and set aside. Add olive oil to a large nonstick skillet over medium low heat. Cook the onions until they are translucent, then add the mushrooms, zucchini and garlic. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. Tuscan seasoning. Remove from the pan and set aside to drain in a colander to remove excess liquid.
In the same pan, add more olive oil along with the ground beef and ground veal. Season with 1/4 tsp. Tuscan seasoning.
Break up the meat with a spatula and stir until completely browned. Clear a space in the center of the pan and add the tomato paste.
Let it toast for 1 minute then stir it into the browned meat.
Add the tomato sauce, sugar, oregano and basil. Cover and bring to a low simmer for 10 minutes.
Heat water for the pasta and cook according to package directions. Stir the cooked and drained veggies into the meat sauce.
Drain the pasta and add to the pan with 1/2 cup gruyere cheese. Toss to combine.
Mist a casserole dish with cooking spray and fill with the pasta and sauce mixture. Drizzle the top with olive oil and top with 1/3 cup breadcrumbs and 1/3 cup parmesan cheese.
Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes at 350º. Use tongs to carefully remove the foil and broil for 2 minutes to crisp up the top.
Garnish with Italian parsley and bring to the table. Serve with extra parmesan cheese and marinara sauce.
Notes ♪♫ Not all gluten free pastas are created equal. I used Jovial Brown Rice Penne in this recipe. My favorite brand, it holds up especially well in casseroles, where even after boiling and baking it maintains a great al dente consistency.