An easy dish like this is the perfect ‘go-to’ for moms on the run, a quick dinner, a simple potluck, or a freeze-ahead meal. I love it because the sauce is packed with vegetables. In fact, you can add whatever vegetable you have in the fridge. I have used zucchini, eggplant, spinach, and even plant based meat substitutes. For pickier eaters, you may grate the vegetables instead of chopping or mincing. Asides from a healthy weekday meal, leftovers make for the perfect guilt-free mommy snack throughout the day.


1 package CONTADINA pene pasta

3-4 tablespoons CONTADINA olive oil

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 white onion, chopped

1 large carrot, minced

1 package fresh button mushrooms, cleaned and chopped

1 bottle CONTADINA Aglio Arrostito pasta sauce

½ cup mozzarella cheese, grated

1,2 cup cheddar cheese, grated


  1. Cook pene until al dente, strain (saving half a cup of pasta water), drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and set aside.
  2. In a large sauté pan, add 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, white onion, carrot, and mushrooms. Let simmer over medium heat.
  3. Once vegetables are softened, add CONTADINA Aglio Arrostito pasta sauce.
  4. Season with salt and pepper. Lower the heat and let continue to simmer over low heat.
  5. Once sauce has reduced, add cooked pasta and pasta water and combine well.
  6. Transfer to a baking dish and top with a mix of your grated cheeses. Bake until cheese is bubbly and brown.
  7. Serve hot. This dish is best paired with garlic bread.