Thursday, August 23, 2012

Layered Pasta Bake


I recently made Eggplant Ratatouille marinara, a recipe I tried last year. I still say it's probably the best pasta sauce I've ever tasted. So incredibly flavorful and veggie-packed, has a thicker, creamy texture.. yum. I ended up having a lot of leftover sauce, so I froze the rest. Well, the wonderful day came when I pulled it out of the freezer. I saw a recipe for a baked pasta dish in Linda McCartney's Cookbook, World of Vegetarian Cooking and thought I would use the eggplant sauce instead of making another marinara sauce. I also altered this recipe to make it vegan. It was absolutely delicious!

Layered Pasta Bake

14 oz. can chopped tomatoes
1/2 C.tomato puree
1 C. water
2 t. dried thyme, or 1 t. fresh, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
10 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/2 lb. vegetarian feta, diced (I used vegan pepper jack)
sea salt & black pepper to taste
3 C. dried pasta (fusilli or penne)
1 medium onion, chopped
3 medium zucchini, sliced
3 T. olive oil
1/2 C. cheddar cheese, grated (I used vegan cheddar)
freshly chopped basil to garnish

In a medium saucepan, simmer the tomatoes, tomato puree, and water with thyme, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes. When the sauce has reduced and thickened a little, after 8-10 minutes, add the feta. Season to taste with salt & pepper.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according o the instructions on the package. Drain, and mix it thoroughly with the tomato sauce. 

In a medium saucepan, saute the onion and zucchini in the olive oil for 2-3 minutes.
 Spread half the pasta mixture in a large baking dish and layer the zucchini mixture on top. Cover with the rest of the pasta mixture. 

Sprinkle with the cheddar and bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes. Serve hot, sprinkled with fresh basil. 
 In our back yard, we have a big tomato garden. My dad asked me to make some of my mom's famous fried green tomatoes. I thought it would go well with this dish. I also made my famous garlic bread recipe, a must! 
 I hope you are enjoying the last bit of your summer. I have many more recipes to put up. I've been cooking almost every day. I just haven't had time to post them. 

God bless you,

Chef Teebs

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