Thursday, June 21, 2012

Who says Summer can't be Comfortable?

It doesn't have to be Fall for me to crave comfort food.  I am ready to eat rich heavy foods anytime of year.  Light summer fare is nice and refreshing and great in the Southern heat, but I can always find a reason to indulge in comfort food no matter what the temperature outside may be.  And my favorite comfort food by far is gooey cheesy baked pasta.  This is a great recipe because it provides the satisfying intensity of the melted cheese and warm pasta, but it utilizes fresh summer veggies for the perfect marriage of seasonal stars.  This is a regular in my household.  It is easy to prepare, super satisfying and loved by all members of my crew - including my 20 month old!

Baked Ziti with Summer Vegetables
Adapted from Cooking Light July 2011


  • 8 ounces uncooked ziti
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 2 cups chopped yellow squash 
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini 
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cups diced tomato; canned and drained (Italian Style)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided 
  • 1/4 tablespoons dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten 
  • Cooking spray 


1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.

2. Preheat oven to 400°.

3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan. Add squash, zucchini, and onion; sauté 5 minutes.

 Add tomato and garlic; sauté 3 minutes.

Remove from heat;

stir in pasta, 1/2 cup mozzarella, herbs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper.

4. Combine ricotta, remaining salt, and egg.

Stir into pasta mixture.

Spoon into an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray;

 sprinkle with remaining mozzarella. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until bubbly and browned.

Click Here for My Adapted Printable Recipe 

1 comment:

Angie's Recipes said...

This looks truly comforting and delicious!