As I told Forrest this story as it had been relayed to me, he couldn't stop laughing. From what I hear Forrest was quite the mischievous youngster and he has a special place in is heart for my nephews when they do things that remind him of his early years. In order to keep Forrest's spirits up after his daily dose of family stories, I made him one of his favorite meals that he could eat all week long.
Zucchini, Sausage, and Feta Casserole
Modified from Cooking Light 2007
2 1/2 cups uncooked ziti (short tube-shaped pasta)
8 ounces chicken sausage ( I used Chicken Andouille)
1 teaspoon olive oil
5 cups thinly sliced zucchini (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 cups vertically sliced onion (about 1)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese (I used 4 oz)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
2 slices of toasted wheat bread
Preheat oven to 400°.
Cook pasta in boiling water 5 minutes, omitting salt and fat; drain.
Remove casings from sausage. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add sausage to pan; cook until browned.
Remove from pan. Heat oil in pan. Add zucchini, onion, salt, pepper, and garlic.
Cook 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender and zucchini begins to brown, stirring occasionally.
Combine broth and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.
Add broth mixture to pan; cook 1 minute.
Combine zucchini mixture, sausage,
pasta and feta cheese in a large bowl; toss well.
Spoon pasta mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with mozzarella cheese. I also put two pieces of toasted wheat bread in the food processor to make bread crumbs and added them on top with the cheese for some extra texture.
Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned.
This meal is amazing. I have made it several times and the flavor is great. It doesn't hurt that it is somewhat of a light pasta dish. I strongly suggest using andouille sausage as I did. The robust flavor of the sausage add a whole layer of flavor and the feta cheese rounds it out perfectly. Besides the great taste this is also an easy meal to throw together on a weeknight.