Curly Pasta & Zucchini Bake

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This is the time of year when we really need easy one-dish dinners, and that’s exactly what this is! I’ve also been loving dinners like this that people can reheat at different times (hello, evening sports!). And it seems like I am always on the hunt for more hearty vegetarian meals I can add to the rotation.

I try to only have meat as the focus about half the time when I am mapping out dinners for the week. It’s good for your health and your budget (and the environment)! How many days a week do you try to eat meatless meals? How about meals that use just a little bit of meat for flavoring (instead of being the focus of the meal)? You can get most of the same benefits by just cutting back rather than giving it up altogether.

Curly Pasta and Zucchini Bake on 100 Days of Real Food

Curly Pasta and Zucchini Bake on 100 Days of Real Food

Can you put uncooked pasta in the oven?

I mean, you could, but I wouldn’t recommend it! Unless it’s specifically a “no-boil” thin lasagne noodle, I would recommend boiling your pasta, at least until it’s al dente (i.e., almost done), before you add it to any casserole that you plan to bake in the oven. I used curly pasta in this recipe, mainly because my kids like it, but a similar sized substitute (such as penne) would work just as well!

Curly Pasta & Zucchini Bake

A cheesy pasta and veggie bake that tastes just as good when reheated.

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Curly Pasta and Zucchini Bake on 100 Days of Real Food


Ingredients

  • 1 16 ounce bag whole-grain pastacurly
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium zucchiniends trimmed and cut into 1″ chunks, can also sub eggplant
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup mozzarellashredded
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheesefreshly grated
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheeseplus extra for garnish (optional)
  • 1 large handful fresh basilchopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Boil the pasta and drain a few minutes before the recommended time on the package (al dente). Set aside.

  2. In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Saute the zucchini while stirring occasionally until it is tender when pierced with a fork, about 5 minutes.

  3. In a large bowl mix together the crushed tomatoes, heavy cream, cheeses, basil, salt, and pepper then stir in the pasta and zucchini.

  4. Pour into a large rectangular baking dish. Garnish with dollops of ricotta cheese (if desired) and bake until bubbly, about 20 minutes.

  5. Flip the oven to the broiler setting and cook until the cheese on top is golden brown, about 1 to 2 more minutes. Serve warm.


Recipe Notes

We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition Facts

Curly Pasta & Zucchini Bake

Amount Per Serving

Calories 208 Calories from Fat 162

% Daily Value*

Fat 18g28%

Saturated Fat 10g63%

Cholesterol 60mg20%

Sodium 361mg16%

Potassium 169mg5%

Carbohydrates 4g1%

Fiber 1g4%

Sugar 2g2%

Protein 8g16%

Vitamin A 709IU14%

Vitamin C 9mg11%

Calcium 192mg19%

Iron 1mg6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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