Sunday, February 13, 2011

Vegetable Pasta

         I started experimenting with pasta after coming to US. My kids love pasta. This is a great way to introduce them to a variety of vegetables. I have tried with yellow squash, zucchini and red onion. The other vegetables that goes well are eggplant, red bell peppers, asparagus etc.

Serves up to 2-3 people
Preparation time: 1 hour


300 grams of penne rigate (pasta)
1 small onion
100 grams of zucchini
100 grams of yellow squash
1 tsp of red pepper flakes
2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper 
1 tsp of dry oregano
1 cup of Italian blend shredded cheese
2 tbsp of parmesan cheese
2 tbsp of bread crumbs
Olive oil
1 tbsp of butter 
Salt as required


1. Cut the zucchini and yellow squash in to 1/2 inch slices and then cut in the middle to make semi circles. Cut the onion lengthwise.
2. In the large saucepan, add water and salt for the pasta. Once the water starts boiling add pasta. Keep stirring once in a while. Cook the pasta  al dente (firm to the bite) for 12-15 minutes. Transfer the pasta to the strainer.
3. Add 1 tsp of olive oil to the pan, then add onion saute for 2 minutes. Add squash and zucchini and saute for another 5 minutes. Add oregano, 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes, 1 tsp of black pepper and salt for the vegetables.
4. Transfer the vegetables to oven-safe dish. Drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil on top of the vegetables.Preheat the oven for 350 degrees F.Then keep the dish in the oven for 15 minutes.
5. In a bowl, mix the pasta, oven-roasted vegetables, 1 small cup of Italian-blend cheese, pasta sauce, 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes,1tsp of ground black pepper.
6. Transfer the contents in to oven-safe dish. On the top cover the entire portion with remaining cheese, Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. 
7. Cut the butter in to very small pieces and add them in the corners of the dish. Drizzle 1-2 tbsp of olive oil on the top.
8. Place the oven-safe dish in the oven for 10 minutes in 400 degrees F. Check if the top layer is golden brown. Then pasta is ready, garnish with parsley and dig in.

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