Monday, January 17, 2011

Pasta and Roasted Vegetable Casserole

Here is another great way to get your veggies, any time of year. It takes a bit of time to make it, but is well worth the effort. This recipe yields a big batch, so you can make it on a Sunday afternoon and enjoy it twice during the week. Or, use two smaller casserole dishes and freeze one for later.

Serve with a baguette.

Pasta and Roasted Vegetable Casserole
makes 8 entree servings

2 pounds vegetables
Here is a sample combination, but you can substitute your favorite; just make certain you have a colorful combination: 1 small eggplant, 1 zucchini, 1 yellow crookneck squash, 1 red bell pepper, 1 orange bell pepper, a handful of mushrooms, 1 red onion
3 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
Cracked pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (if desired)
1 teaspoon oregano
1 pound rigatoni
28 ounce marinara sauce, good-quality purchased or homemade (see recipe here)
1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, drained
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella
1/3 cup parmigiano reggiano, grated
Chopped basil or parsley for garnish, if desired

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Roast the veggies and garlic by using the basic method here, baking for about 10-12 minutes.
3. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
4. While vegetables are roasting, cook pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of cooking water, and return pasta to pot.
5. To the cooked pasta, add roasted veggies, marinara sauce, red pepper flakes, oregano and sun-dried tomatoes; mix well. If the mixture seems a little dry, add 1/4-1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water.
6. Pour into a greased baking dish (you can use a 9 x 13, or split mixture into two 9-inch pie pans, saving one for later). Slice mozzarella and place atop the casserole(s) and sprinkle with parmesan.
7. If you plan to freeze this dish, cool the mixture, cover tightly and freeze. Before baking, defrost overnight in the refrigerator.
8. To bake the dish, cover with foil and bake 15-20 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Garnish with chopped basil or parsley, if desired.

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