This pasta dish was my last supper.
I went out with a bang, three types of cheeses and somewhere around 3 pounds of vegetables.
(What a way to go.)
And what I mean to say is that this was my last supper before the moratorium on exercise was put into action by my orthopedist.
He wants me to not move for two months.
Seeing as how I haven’t taken off more than two days in a row for the past four years…I don’t even know how to begin to do that.
I am a mover by nature.
But somehow, I have to try.
Here’s the other thing.
I absolutely up and down refuse to gain weight in the next eight weeks.
Those extra pounds may come knocking at my door and I will politely but firmly say “No, thank you.” While politely but firmly slamming the door in their face.
You see, after my last stress fracture I was sad and so I spent the nine months after I was injured eating anything and everything to make myself feel better. And the year after that trying to regain some kind of equilibrium. I’m not there yet.
But maybe I can be now that I know that I can’t compensate for jars of peanut butter or bowls of ice cream by going for a run or to an extra class at the gym. Maybe this is the impetus that I needed to get.my.act.together.
Want to dare me to not only not gain weight but to perhaps even lose weight during this next eight weeks? Want to triple doggie dare me?
Huddle up, team. Here’s the game plan.
Super clean eating for the next two months.
Will there be sacrifices? Yes. Will I have to say no when sometimes I really really want to say yes? Yes.
But, you know. It’s only for eight weeks. It’s not for life. And the reality is…I think that with exercise, you really can eat whatever you want (in moderation). But without it…you really have to be critical of what you put into your body if you don’t want to gain weight. (At least, that’s the case for me and my metabolism.)
Dear baked penne with roasted vegetables. You were lovely and cheesy and absolutely delicious in so many ways. And the best swan song a girl could ask for.
(Although…I may or may not already be planning my comeback. 52 days or bust!)
Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables
Serves 6, adapted from Giada de Laurentis
- 2 red bell peppers, cored and cut into 1-inch wide strips
- 2 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 summer squash, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 yellow onion, sliced thinly
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt, divided
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 1 tbsp herbs de Provence
- 1 lb penne
- 3 cups good marinara sauce
- 1 cup grated fontina cheese
- 1/2 cup grated smoked mozzarella
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan plus more for topping
- Preheat the oven to 450.
- On a baking sheet, toss the peppers, zucchini, summer squash, and onions with olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, and herbs de Provence. Roast until tender, about 20-30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta for about 6 minutes. They should still be hard! Drain.
- In a large bowl, toss the drained pasta with the roasted veggies, marinara sauce, fontina, smoked mozzarella, 1/4 cup grated parmesan, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Gently mix until the pasta is coated with sauce and the ingredients are combined.
- Pour the pasta into a 9×13-inch pan. Top with some extra parmesan. Bake until the top is golden and the cheese melts.