This fresh-tasting and well-seasoned entree is a real crowd-pleaser. "I combine roasted vegetables, zesty sauce and just the right touch of melted cheese to create this pasta dish that's deliciously filling," says Helen Carpenter from her home in Albuquerque, New Mexico
- 1 pound eggplant, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 large red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 medium sweet yellow peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/2 cups chopped onions
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed
- 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
- 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- 1-1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 package (16 ounces) ziti or other small tube pasta
- 4 cups chopped fresh spinach
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- In a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray, combine the eggplant, red onion and yellow peppers. Drizzle with oil; sprinkle with salt. Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 35-45 minutes or until edges of peppers begin to brown, stirring every 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a saucepan, saute onions in oil until tender. Add garlic, red pepper flakes and fennel; cook and stir for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, parsley, salt, pepper, sugar and thyme. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.
- In two greased 2-qt. baking dishes, spread 1/2 cup sauce each. In each dish, layer a fourth of the pasta, a fourth of the roasted vegetables and 1/2 cup sauce. Top with 2 cups spinach and 1/2 cup sauce. Top with remaining roasted vegetables, pasta and sauce.
- Cover and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with cheese. Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until heated through and cheese is melted. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Roasted Vegetable Ziti Bake in Light & Tasty October/November 2001, p10
Medium-Bodied Red Wine
Enjoy this recipe with a medium-bodied red wine such as Chianti, Sangiovese, Malbec or Zinfandel.
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