I grew up in a household with a Persian mother. Amongst the other Persians I knew I wasn't Persian enough. Amongst the Americans I knew I wasn't American enough. I was always somewhere in the middle. It was a bit of a struggle growing up, never knowing exactly where I stood. As an adult I've come to love that I'm a bit different, & with that in mind, I had to create my own traditions.

penne pasta

* Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Ragu. All opinions are 100% mine aka Carmen's. :]

As of right now my little family consists of just me & Fred. We love preparing meals together to bond & unwind at the end of each day. It's our version of a homestyle tradition, at least for now. To me, homestyle means you get food made with care, love, & thought. We always try to mix flavor with heartiness —  something that tastes delicious but has some nutritional value. 

penne pasta

This Penne Pasta with Veggies is an easy vegetarian dinner recipe that you can serve at your next family dinner or if you're like me, you'll just eat the leftovers for days to come. You'll get 4 to 6 generous portions with a healthy vegetable to pasta ratio. Let's get started!

// Ingredients //


penne pasta

1 (12-ounce) package of penne pasta
2 heads of broccoli 
1 (8-ounce) package of white mushrooms
1/4 cup of cheese
1/4 cup (or less) of olives

// Directions //


penne pasta

1. Bring water to a boil & cook your pasta according to the directions on the packaging. I chose a tricolor penne pasta because I love the color, but you can use anything your heart desires.

penne pasta

2. Chop your mushrooms while your pasta is cooking. Sautée them for 5 to 7 minutes, or until they half in size & all the water evaporates.

penne pasta

3. Your pasta should be almost al dente by now. Toss in your chopped broccoli to let it blanche & cook inside the water. This is my favorite way to save myself from washing another a dish.

penne pasta

4. Add your Ragu Homestyle Sauce to a sauce pan & cook according to directions.

// Finishing Touches //


penne pasta

Strain your pasta concoction. Add it to your plate then give yourself a generous heap of Ragu Homestyle Sauce. Drop on some mushrooms & then top with a sprinkle of cheese & chopped olives.

homestyle ragu

I didn't add any additional seasoning or spices because the Thick & Hearty Roasted Garlic Sauce has such a rich garlic flavor. The olives & cheese give you just enough salt.  With everything combined, you're good to go.


homestyle ragu


There you have it! I know it's been a while since my last recipe, so I'm glad to have partnered with Ragu in order to entice myself to do so. Bonus points because Fred & I both have enough lunch to last for a couple days. 

How does this easy vegetarian dinner recipe sound to you? :]

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*Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Ragu. As always, all opinions are 100% mine aka Carmen's. Learn more about my disclosure here. :]