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
Preparation1. 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