Week 9: Baked Pasta with Roasted Veg
When it gets to the part of the year when winter feels never-ending, there’s something about a nice baked pasta dish that warms you up. It’s good for the soul. And this one isn’t stick to your ribs heavy or anything. It’s cozy and comforting with a healthy kick of veggies to boot. I only realized after I had made it that this is my second pasta dish in a row on the blog, but I suppose ‘tis the season.
After the cauliflower soup went so well back in January, I was keen to try another one of Cookie and Kate’s recipes, so I gave her Baked Ziti with Roasted Vegetables a try. I’m really digging the recipes from this blog. They’re all vegetarian, the ingredient and flavour combinations appeal to me, and the recipes are well written and easy to follow.
Ingredients: this wasn’t the world’s cheapest dinner (cheese is always pricy), but considering how much it made, I’d say it was worth it. I had to buy ricotta, mozzarella, cauliflower, red pepper, and fresh basil in addition to the other pantry staple type ingredients I had on hand.
Timing: 1 hour and 45 minutes from start to finish.
Yield: 8 servings
Serving: This would be lovely with a green salad in a nice vinaigrette (lemon perhaps?), but I got lazy and had it on its own.
How did it go? Okay so it went well, for the most part. I went rogue on the instructions twice but it turned out okay. I realized once it was baking that I undercooked the pasta but it cooked enough in the oven to make up for it. I used 11 ounces of pasta instead of 8, so the pan was very full but it all fit. 8 oz just didn’t sound like enough and there were 11 oz left in the bag of noodles! In hindsight, 8 oz would have been just fine. Otherwise, this was an easy and straightforward recipe. Especially using pasta sauce from a jar to save time and make life easier.
Taste: yum! The fresh basil in the sauce added a really nice flavour. I loved the taste of the roasted veggies, even the cauliflower which I normally don’t get excited about and have never eaten in a pasta dish before. Nice and cheesy but not over the top – just the right amount. I used ricotta rather than cottage cheese based on personal preference and thought it was great along with the mozzarella. Overall, a lovely spin on a classic baked pasta dish. Would definitely make again.
Tips: just read and follow the instructions and you should be good. I like Marinelli’s tomato basil sauce for jarred pasta sauce if you are looking for a tasty sauce option to save time.
Luke’s review: It’s delish. Very cheesy. Mmm. Cheese to please! Mixed with fresh vegetables, tastes like veggie lasagna. Nice and light. Roasted spicy tomata sauce (new jersey long island accent) – finger kiss! Would recommend farfalle noodles. Otherwise very delicious. Cauliflower is a nice treat and adds a nice crunch.
Luke’s recipe rating: two thumbs up