Thursday, August 23, 2012

Summer Veggie Ziti Bake

If you're like anyone else I know who raises squash & zucchini in their garden, you have it coming out your ears!  It's always been hard for me to think of what to make with it besides zucchini bread and to fry it up in olive oil as a side...until this recipe.  We will make this every August/September when the squash is in season.  It's a great way to use a little of your garden veggies, and even your kids will like it!  Only 1 of my 4 picked the squash out and just ate the noodles.:)
This makes A LOT, so you could half the recipe if desired.  But my middle schoolers who have access to a microwave during lunch have been enjoying it the last couple days!  You can also substitute fresh herbs if you have them.
Summer Veggie Ziti Bake
16 oz. box ziti pasta, uncooked
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups chopped yellow squash (about 3-4 small)
2 cups chopped zucchini (I used about 1/3 of a large one)
1 onion, chopped
2 cups chopped tomato
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
2 tablespoons basil
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
3 eggs
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cook pasta according to package directions.
While pasta is cooking, prepare your veggies. Heat oil in a large skillet over med-high heat. Add the squash, zucchini and onion. Saute for 5 minutes.
Add the tomato and the garlic & cook for another 3 minutes.
Remove from the heat and then stir in the pasta. 
Add 1 cup of the mozzarella, the spices and salt & pepper.
In a bowl, combine the ricotta and eggs. Mix together.  (Yes I am aware there is only 2 eggs in the photo...I added another egg and more ricotta cause it seemed to dry for my liking!:))
Stir cheese/egg mixture into the pasta mixture. 
 Then pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella.
Bake for 15 minutes or until the top starts to brown & it is warmed through.

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