Last night I set out to take photos and post a recipe for an end of the week (end of our produce week…..we get our CSA basket on Monday’s, and so on Sunday or Monday of each week I make something that uses up the remaining produce from last week’s basket to make room in the fridge for this week’s produce…..and to avoid science experiments in the crisper drawers!) pasta bake that I make on a regular basis. It is one of those super versatile recipes that can be changed up depending on what you have on hand and what your family enjoys. Here’s what I did……
I cut up:
3/4 of a large eggplant into 1/2″ dice
5 summer squashes (again in about 1/2″ pieces)
3 small bell peppers (any color will work here….and cut into 1/2″ pieces)
1 medium onion (yep, you guessed it, 1/2″ dice)
3 garlic cloves, minced
28 oz. can no salt added whole tomatoes (I use the type with basil from Trader Joe’s)
28 oz. can tomato sauce (or a jar of your favorite jarred pasta sauce)
enough red wine to deglaze pan (approx. 1/2 cup….if you don’t want to use wine, you could use veggie broth or a combination of red wine or balsamic vinegar and water)
1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
1 tsp. dried basil leaves
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound whole grain pasta, cooked to al dente
8 oz. mozzarella, sliced
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In large saute pan, sweat onions, garlic and peppers until they begin to soften and the onions are beginning to look translucent. Then add eggplant and squash and cook until veggies are browned on all sides and cooked through and soft.
Add just enough wine (or whatever substitute you are using) to cover the bottom of the pan to get up all of the cooked on bits. Let simmer down until most of the liquid is cooked off. Add tomatoes (crush the whole tomatoes in between your fingers to break them down to smaller pieces) with the liquid from the can, and let that cook down just a bit also. Add tomato sauce and spices (if you have a pasta seasoning or italian seasoning that you love….like I do…..you can add that in place of the spices) and let simmer for 5 minutes.
Toss cooked pasta with the veggie sauce in a large casserole dish (I use a deep 9 x 13 stone baking dish) and top with cheeses
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until cheese is baked and golden brown. Remove from oven and let stand for 5-10 minutes, serve with a crusty whole grain bread and a big green salad. Dinner doesn’t get any better than this!
Some variations on this……
you can really add anything that you have on hand and enjoy. Some tasty additions are….
……let your imagination and palate be your guide 🙂
P.S. I know, I forgot pictures of the finished product! I was so ready to feed everyone that I forgot! Sorry 🙂