This is a simple make-ahead supper, easy to pop in the oven when company’s over. It’s actually the first meal I prepared after Bean was born. (That’s right – I went four weeks without doing anything more than reheating. Don’t judge.)
I made this when my sister-in-law and her daughter stayed for the weekend. With eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, and onions in the mix, I was nervous that my sixth grade niece would balk. Perhaps she was just being polite, but she ate it. (Disclaimer: She did pick around the eggplant and tomatoes.)
Cheesy Vegetable Bake
adapted from Real Simple
makes 4 servings
- 1/2 pound dry, small-shaped pasta
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1 yellow squash
- 1 medium eggplant
- 1 large yellow onion
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 4 plum tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cup pasta sauce
- 3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled Feta
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella
- In a large pot, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Meanwhile, whisk together the vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1 tablespoon of the oil in a small bowl.
- Cut the zucchini, squash, eggplant, and onion into bite sized pieces and place on a baking sheet. Brush with the vinaigrette. Heat broiler on high. Broil until tender, 6 minutes per side. Reduce heat to 350 if baking right away; turn oven off if freezing.
- Place the empty pasta pot over low heat. Add the garlic and the remaining oil and cook for 3 minutes. Add the drained pasta, vegetables, oregano, tomatoes, pasta sauce, Feta, black pepper, and the remaining salt and toss.
- Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with the mozzarella. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 20 minutes longer. Serve immediately.
To freeze: Assemble (but do not bake) the casserole. Cover tightly with two layers of aluminum foil. Store for up to 3 months
To reheat: Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Cover and heat in a 350° F oven for 30 minutes. Uncover and heat for 20 minutes longer.