Josh’s grandma made a dish a lot like this one on our last day in Newfoundland and I couldn’t wait to get home and remake it. It packs so much flavour without the heaviness that comes with a lot of casserole-style dishes.
I love the fact that it’s a complete meal on its own; lots of whole grains, produce and protein = no side dishes necessary. It’s super customizable so feel free to change things to your liking; use the veggies you have on hand and opt for your favourite protein sources if black beans and shrimp aren’t calling out to you.
I like the filling on its own but the breadcrumb topping gets golden and crispy in the oven and is just pretty dreamy. So while it’s the more “indulgent” part of the dish, I don’t recommend leaving it out! And the leftovers are great so don’t fear the big portion even if you’re only serving a few people.
- 3 cups uncooked pasta (I used whole wheat rotini)
- 2 to 3 cups pre-cooked frozen shrimp
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 medium zucchinis, chopped into half-moons
- 2 cups chopped bell peppers
- 2 big handfuls of baby spinach
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup black beans
- 2 tsp italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups whole grain bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add pasta.
2. In the last minute or so of cooking, add the shrimp to defrost.
3. When the pasta is al dente, drain the pasta and shrimp.
4. Meanwhile, get some olive oil heating over medium in a large saucepan.
5. Add garlic, zucchini and bell pepper and sauté until zucchini is translucent; about 10 minutes.
6. To the veggies, add spinach, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, black beans and seasonings and let simmer to thicken on medium for about 10 minutes.
(if you’re really in a rush, you can skip this part; the end result will just be a bit more “soupy”).
7. Add cooked pasta and shrimp and stir well.
8. Put a thin coat of olive oil in a 9 x 13″ baking dish and pour the veggie mixture into it.
9. Combine the breadcrumbs, melted butter and parmesan in a medium bowl and spread evenly on top of the veggie mixture.
10. Bake for about 15 minutes at 350F, until the top is golden.
11. Garnish with parsley and chives if desired and enjoy.
If you make it, I hope you enjoy it as much as my family and I do!