Cheesy Vegetable Bake – Recipe

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

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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