Sunday, October 30, 2011

Veggie Pasta

Up until now, I have titled my recipes with "Convenient". This recipe is a bit less convenient, but it's veggie loaded, and produces 10 servings of 8-ounce portions. You can share with family, company, or you can store leftovers in the freezer (using food wrap, Ziploc bags, etc.) for future convenient meals.

My recipe uses four kinds of vegetables, spaghetti sauce, pasta, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, and a little bit of oil for separating the cooked pasta. The graphic provides a visual cue of the ingredients and stages of preparation.

Ingredients (guide for types and quantity—YMMV)

  • 1/2 half pounds each of celery, carrots, zucchini, and crookneck squash, sliced
  • 12 ounces of dry pasta
  • 28-ounce jar of spaghetti sauce
  • 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese (minimum amount)

Utensils

  • Dutch oven or pan large enough for cooking and stirring stages
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Medium-large mixing bowl
  • Medium-large strainer
  • Baking pan (9 x 13)
  • Tablespoon
  • Measuring cup (1/4 cup or so)
  • Large metal or wooden spoon
  • Spoon rest

The following descriptions of the images (grid of 5 across and 4 down) can help walk you through the stages of preparation. Preheat the oven to 375° some time before you put the casserole in the oven, or add about another 15 minutes to the baking time.

  1. Image 1 through 5 show the initial stage of raw veggie preparation (paring and slicing). I use a Salad Shooter for making fast and consistent slices for cooking.
  2. Images 6 and 7 show the pre-processed, non-veggie ingredients and the measuring items.
  3. Images 8, 9, and 10 show the pasta-cooking stage. Cook according to box instructions, strain, and stir in enough oil prevent pasta clumpies.
  4. Images 11, 12, and 13 show the veggie-cooking stage. Cook about 8 minutes or until your choice of doneness.
  5. Images 14 and 15 show the merge stage for the cooked veggies, pasta, and spaghetti sauce.
  6. Image 16 shows the preparation before putting all the cooked ingredients and cheeses into the baking pan. Layer the ingredients into the baking pan as follows:
    Parmesan (top)
    Mozzarella
    Mix of sauce, pasta, veggies
    Parmesan
    Mozzarella
    Mix of sauce, pasta, veggies (bottom)
  7. Image 17 shows the pan with the ingredients, topped by the final Parmesan cheese layer.
  8. Image 18 shows the assembled casserole, covered with aluminum foil, ready for it to go into the oven.
  9. Image 19 shows the covered casserole in the oven. Bake at 375° for about 40 minutes. YMMV for time.
  10. Image 20 shows the finished casserole. Waiting a few minutes for the casserole to cool down a little helps portioning out rectangles with a griddle spatula or cooky spatula.

For other recipes, you can enter "recipe" in the Blogspot search. Or you can download my article catalog and visually scan for yellow rows, which include links to recipe articles.

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