September 5, 2013

Cheesy Baked Pasta Casserole with Grilled Vegetables

One of the many things I like about warm weather is that I can grow my own herbs in the garden and don't have to pay a zillion bucks for a couple of dull looking sprigs packaged in plastic boxes. My personal preference when it comes to gardening is to grow just herbs and flowering plants (anything that looks pretty) !! Well, going into dreamland for a second here, my dream house would have this beautiful herb garden right next to my outdoor photography studio besides a humongous but functional kitchen with a walk-in pantry with umpteen shelves. As my Pinterest boards get bigger and bigger, my plans for the ultimate dream house becomes more stronger :)

This summer has been really busy, with my husband starting his school and my daughter getting busy with her extra curricular activities, and talking about gardening, I am not a person gifted with a superior green thumb at all. But I am glad to say that I did manage to survive with the bare minimum - Basil, Rosemary, Curry leaf and Mint. I am just so glad they survived me!!!

A few months ago, I had posted this recipe for home-made Roasted TomatoPasta Sauce. This rich and flavorful sauce is used atleast once a week in my kitchen. It freezes well and I make it in bulk during the weekends to freeze it for use during the busy work weeks. One of the dishes that I prepare frequently with this sauce is this 'Grilled Vegetable Pasta Casserole'. It is scrumptious enough to satisfy my carnivorous husband who didn't mind the absence of meat in this dish :). Sometimes when I am pressed for time I just skip grilling the vegetables but it is in no way less delectable, thanks to this sauce and the addition of cream cheese and some fresh Basil to touch it up a notch.

Serves 6-8
3 Cups - Pasta
2 Cups - Homemade roasted tomato pasta sauce (Click for recipe) or any pasta sauce
3 - Squash or Zucchini (yellow or green)
3 - Heads of Broccoli
2 - Ears of Corn, husked
6 oz - Cream cheese, room temperature
4 cups - Cheese, grated (I used Cheddar, Parmesan, Pecorino Romano)
6 - Basil leaves, chopped
1/2 Cup - Bread crumbs 
1 tablespoon - Flaxseed meal (optional)
Salt per taste

  • Cook the pasta as per package directions.
  • While the pasta is cooking, add a splash of oil to the squash, zucchini, broccoli and corn. Season with salt and pepper and grill them on an outdoor or indoor grill. You can do this in the oven too.
  • Cut the corn kernels off the cob with a sharp knife
  • In a large bowl add the pasta sauce and cream cheese and whisk to combine
  • Add the grilled vegetables, cooked and drained pasta, 2 cups of grated cheese and basil. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Mix all ingredients
  • Transfer the ingredients to a baking dish (9*13)
  • Add the remaining 2 cups of grated cheese, bread crumbs and flax seed meal to the top and bake at 350F for 10 minutes. 
  • Broil the dish for 2-5 minutes to brown the cheese topping
Notes and Tips
  • You can very well adjust the amount of cream cheese and grated cheese to you preference.
  • You can skip grilling the vegetables. Just bake the dish for another 15-20 minutes to cook the veggies with the pasta.
  • You can use any kind of pasta you have in your pantry. I used Rotini 

Ever since I have started blogging I have been addicted to food photography. I wish I had more time to practice and improve my skills.
I totally admire and adore blogs with good photos and Rosa's blog is one of them. Do check her blog out for inspirational photography and scrumptious recipes. Inspired by her monochrome photos, I tried a few clicks and here they are.


  1. Lovely looking Pasta & great clicks. I agree to home grown herbs. Unfortunately there is hardly space at home here in Singapore to grow any herbs nor patience for me to look after them.

  2. Shema your styling is gorgeous in the pictures and hats off to your green thumb. A hearty yummy dish.

  3. lovely and tempting pasta.. So nice clicks love the first click

  4. Pasta looks picture perfect.. You have set a beautiful background there..

  5. A mouthwatering dish and fabulous combination!

    Thanks for the mention. I am ever so happy to hear that I inspire you.

    Beautiful clicks and glorious black and white shots! Great job.



  6. did you use artificial lighting shema??? they look different...good different :)

  7. So cheesy n flavorful... wud luv 2 have dat bowl 4 lunch...

  8. beautiful clicks shema.. like your boards :)

  9. Nisha, All the pictures where shot with natural light. I was trying to click some dark tone moody pictures

  10. What a romantic set up loving it so good the pasta look and so is ur wine and table arrangement

  11. I lovved ur pics ! I still remember the pics of sauce u made , thats itsrlf was so tempting..this looks soo soo delicious and I m feeling so hungry right now :)

  12. Your photography gets impressive and more impressive each time Shema...Hats off to your crativity and choice of colors and background. I like your dream house concept too :-)
    We are having an overload of tomatoes and herbs from our garden and I'm planning on trying your raoasted tomato sauce. Will let u know how it turns out :-) Oh! and that Pasta is a killer to look at and I can only imagine how awesome it would have tasted.

  13. That's definitely a dish that says, "lemme give you a hug". I love the photos.

  14. I only ever like to eat baked pasta dishes - but you've really upped the ante with the grilled veggies - turning it into a casserole. Very appealing - and ofcourse, your pics are to-die-for!

  15. Wow, love those bright & bold pics dear.. Looks awesome & tempting :) Am a fan of baked pasta.. Love this awesome creation !

  16. The casserole looks delicious and I love your black and white pictures!

  17. I agree, i also grow my own herbs in the garden. That way every dish I cook has fresh herb. Pictures are very dramatic, I love the style!

  18. I love all kinds of pasta, but when the weather is getting cooler, I definitely want to put pasta in the oven! Love the crispy little burnt cheese on the dish. :D This looks so delicious!!!

  19. I do not have a green thumb, but last year I did manage to grow basil and mint. Love the idea of growing curry leaves, since they are my all time favorite ingredient. And the pasta looks great. I love roasted tomatoes in my pasta sauce and bet it would have tasted great!

  20. Beautiful styling there and that pasta has comfort written all over it!

  21. Pasta is my favorite! This looks amazing!

  22. I love casseroles and this sounds/looks delicious! Your dream house sounds perfect:)

  23. Wow, Shema! Your pictures are gorgeous!!! The pasta casserole is one of those dishes that just to look at it makes us want to dig in it. Pinned!

  24. Hi Shema,

    I love pasta especially with lots of cheese and vegetable!

    Nice to know you via blogging. Your pictures are gorgeous! ... and make all your food super stylish to eat. I'm now your latest follower and hope that you can follow my blog too. Cheers!


  25. Hi Shema - what a great blog you have here, with gorgeous photos! I'll be glad to stop by often too. : )

    This pasta looks delicious and satisfying. I'm the opposite of a green thumb but my wish is to have a few simple herb plants too. I always wish I had some fresh herbs handy but most of the time, I don't! You've inspired me to try next summer.

  26. Heavenly clicks! We don't really eat cheese, but this is definitely tempting :D

  27. This does look quite scrumptious to me. If I have to go vegetarian, I want it to with meals such as these!


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Thanks a bunch,


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