February 15, 2013

Cheesy Veggie Baked Ziti

cheesy veggie ziti, fresh green beans, blueberries
I'm really excited to share this baked ziti. It's a rich, saucy pasta bake that's 100% whole wheat and completely crammed with veggies. Because it's cheesy and familiar, this recipe will win over even kids who are prone to making "the face" when you serve vegetables.

I've made this dish many times, always boasting about the abundance of vegetables in it. This time, for fun, I decided to find out the actual ratio of pasta to veggies, by weight.

hefty vegetables on the postal scale
I don't have a kitchen scale, so whenever I want to weigh something, I haul out my old (literally, rusty) postal scale, plop a Tupperware on top, and load it up (yes, I tare. This is science, people.)

Here are the weigh-in results:
pasta: 0.5 lbs
veggies: 1.75 lbs!
Impressed? I am! Indulge and enjoy!

Cheesy Veggie Baked Ziti
Serves 4-6

8oz 100% whole wheat ziti or penne (half a box)
8oz white button mushrooms, chopped
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1 medium-large carrot, grated
1 large zucchini, cut into quarter rounds
2 cloves garlic, grated
8oz whole milk Mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes
1 1/4 cup whole milk Ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups good quality marinara sauce (we like Barilla)

In a large pot, set pasta to boil. Preheat oven to 350.

Meanwhile, in a second large pot, saute onions, garlic, and mushrooms in a swirl of olive oil over medium-high heat about seven minutes, or until the mushroom liquid has cooked off. Add the carrots and zucchini, and saute five minutes more.

Drain pasta when tender and set aside.

Add marinara sauce to the pot of veggies and simmer briefly to combine flavors and soften vegetables. Remove from heat and stir in pasta and both cheeses.*

Scoop mixture into a lasagna pan and bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or until cheese cubes have melted.

Serve hot!

*For me, this is where the recipe ends. I scoop the mixture into a glass bowl and use the toaster oven to heat individual portions. I confess to never actually having baked the whole pan of ziti at once, so if you do, please tell me how it turns out!

cheesy veggie ziti, green olives, crispy oven-baked kale chips, blueberries
We heart leftovers!

No comments:

Post a Comment