Baked Vegetable Pasta

October 15, 2011

Okay.

So after seven months of being MIA from my blog I thought it was about time I brought it back to life! I will spare everyone from a variety of excuses for why I was essentially just too lazy to update my blog. Mind you I didn’t ever stop cooking in that time so luckily I have some great photographs and recipes to share with you all :-)

This Baked Vegetable Pasta recipe is one that I’m excited to share because it was inspired by a previous dish I have made on this blog. The Ratatouille I shared back in 2010 was a recipe that utilized simple vegetables. So likewise, in this pasta dish I used similar vegetables like zucchini, eggplant, and bell pepper to make a delicious yet simple dish.

Baked Vegetable Pasta Recipe:

For the sauce:

  • 10 ripe tomatoes (diced)
  • 2 onions (chopped)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic-ginger paste
  • a cup of water
For the vegetables
  • 2 medium sized zucchini (sliced into 1/2 inch pieces)
  • 2 medium sized eggplant (peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
  • 1 green bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 lb. sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cups of mozzarella cheese
  • handful of fresh shredded parmesan cheese for crust
  • few tablespoons of butter for crust
  1. Either use store bought pasta sauce or make the sauce by sautéing the onions in a few tablespoons of oil for a few minutes. Then add the garlic ginger paste and cook for a minute. Next add the chopped tomatoes and cook for about 10-15 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and cumin powder. Add water to thin out the sauce and cook for another 5-10 minutes.
  2. Boil the pasta until al dente (tender in the middle) and set aside.
  3. Next, you will need to saute each vegetable in a few tablespoons of oil until tender. This will be about 3-5 minutes depending on the vegetable (for example the eggplant will take less time than the bell pepper). Make sure to season each vegetable well with salt and pepper. As you finish sauteing each batch of vegetables, remove them into a large bowl.
  4. In the same large bowl mix in the sauce, pasta, and 2 cups of mozzarella cheese. Mix everything well!
  5. In a greased baking dish pour in the pasta mixture. Top with shredded parmesan cheese and dabs of butter to make a crust. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until the top of the pasta has become golden brown.

Ratatouille

August 11, 2010

I never thought I could crave a dish that I have never eaten, nor did I think that I could crave a dish that I saw in an animated movie. But it happened… and I decided to make that dish as a tribute to Remy for being such an adorable little chef. The only thing was, I had to find a good recipe. After I did some hunting I landed on Julia Child’s Ratatouille recipe. And here is what I ended up with:

not too shabby…

Flavor- I like all the vegetables used in this but I honestly had never tried them all together in one dish. So I was a bit skeptical, but the combination of these vegetables blend so well together, it’s no wonder why this dish is so common.

Serving and Moderations– Even though there are several ways to serve Ratatouille… if you pour it on some nice bread with a drizzle of olive oil… it’s awesome. The only moderations I made to the recipe was adding a yellow squash with the zucchini just for the heck of it, but mostly for color. Also, I felt I needed to put some chili powder and cumin to spice it up a bit…and that worked out really well. I put about 1/2 a teaspoon of each.

Multi-Step Process- Julia Child’s version of Ratatouille involves a layering effect which calls for prior cooking of each vegetable before the final layering. This tends to be time consuming when you just want something quick. BUT after making it once, it won’t take as long since you won’t be going back and forth to the recipe making sure everything is correct (or is that just me?)

This “multi-step process” is not the only way to cook Ratatouille. To be honest, when I make this again I would take a shortcut and just combine all the ingredients together in one pot and let it slow cook for a while. That’s the kind of cooking I like. If you haven’t tried this “peasant dish” I think it’s worth it because not only is it healthy, it’s inexpensive and it tastes pretty darn good… comfort food French style perfect for Summer when all this produce is fresh and available.