Vegetable and bocconcini pasta bake

Vegetable and bocconcini pasta bake

Dinner Like A Boss
4 people
10 mins
Cooking time
35 mins
Benito Martin

This is another of my ‘go-to’ meals, where I add different things depending on what is in the refrigerator. I usually make it vegetarian, although I have provided meat options as well. Once this dish is in the oven you are free to go and listen to your child read, chat about their day or help with their homework.


Quantity Ingredient
350g penne
or rigatoni
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1 cm cubes
1 red capsicum, core and seeds removed, cut into 1 cm cubes
1 garlic clove, crushed
700ml tomato passata
220g bocconcini
or mozzarella, cut into 1-2 cm cubes
35g parmesan, finely grated
crisp green salad or rocket, to serve, optional
1 small handful basil leaves, to serve, optional


  1. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan-forced. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a flameproof casserole dish over a medium–high heat. Add the eggplant and cook for 5–6 minutes until light golden and softened. Remove the eggplant from the pan.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in the pan and fry the capsicum for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Return the eggplant to the pan with the passata and bocconcini. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, then cook for a couple of minutes until the cheese starts to melt.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cooked pasta and half the parmesan. Stir to coat the pasta in the sauce. Scatter over the remaining parmesan, then transfer the casserole dish to the oven and bake, uncovered, for 20–25 minutes, or until the top is golden and bubbling.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare your salad, if serving. Scatter the basil leaves over the pasta (if using) and serve.


  • If you would like to add some meat to this dish, either fry up 200 g diced bacon and stir it through the sauce before baking, or add 200 g diced good-quality ham to the sauce before baking. You could also slice up four sausages, fry them briefly, then add them to the sauce before baking. If your kids like mushrooms, these are also delicious fried off with the other vegetables.
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