Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Cheesy Vegetable Pasta

My girlie has been asking me forever to buy "different" veggies when we go grocery shopping. These are "different" to me because I have never attempted to prepare them! The other day I came across a recipe for Cheesy Vegetable Pasta and it had a couple of the unusual for me veggies...zucchini and eggplant. So I figured if she was brave enough to try to eat them I would be brave enough to try to cook them!

Did I mention the recipe required the veggies to be broiled? I have never used the broiler in my life! After I figured out that it was just the top element that heats in the oven I was a little more relieved. The recipe said to cut the zucchini and eggplant in half length wise and brush with a tasty mixture of olive oil, balsalmic vinegar, salt and pepper. This process got scary again for me when I had to turn them over to cook on the other side though...that broiler setting is HOT and there I was trying to flip them over with the door open and the rack pulled out some. Did I mention I learn my cooking through trial and error?

This dish had great flavors! My girlie was initially scared to try the eggplant once she saw what it looked like out of the oven! She did love the zucchini...that was all of our favorite of the two new veggies we tried! I did omit one of the ingredients...fetta cheese...hubby doesn't like! I know, I normally make stuff with an ingredient he "doesn't like" and I just don't tell him it's in there! I wanted to be nice this time!

Here is the recipe from Real Simple.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium zucchini (about 1 pound), halved lengthwise
  • 1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound), halved lengthwise
  • 1 large onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 pound ziti or penne
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried mint
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 4 ounces Feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup) **I didn't use this
  • 1 cup prepared tomato sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 8 ounces mozzarella, shredded **I used extra to make up for not having Feta


Heat the broiler. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon of the oil with the vinegar, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and a few grinds of pepper and brush the mixture on the cut sides of the zucchini, eggplants, and onion. Arrange them cut-side up on a large, shallow baking pan. Broil the vegetables until golden brown and tender, 8 to 10 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board. Cut the zucchini crosswise into thin slices. Cut the eggplant into 1-inch pieces. Chop the onion coarsely.

Heat the oven to 350ยบ F. Meanwhile, in a large pot, cook the pasta according to the package directions; drain. Return the pasta pot to the stove, add the garlic and the remaining tablespoon of oil, and cook over low heat until the garlic sizzles. Stir in the oregano and mint.

Add the cooked pasta, broiled vegetables, chopped tomatoes, Feta (I skipped that and layered mozarella in the pan instead), the tomato sauce, pepper flakes, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a few more grinds of pepper. Transfer to a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle the top with the mozzarella.

Bake, covered, for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 to 20 minutes more or until the cheese is melted and golden, and a knife inserted in the center for 5 seconds comes out hot.

This post is linked with Blessed With Grace for Tempt My Tummy Tuesday and Balancing Beauty and Bedlam for Tasty Tuesday. What new dish will you find to try today?

Blessed with GraceBeauty and Bedlam



  1. Oh, yum! This sounds delish!

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. That is so awesome your daughter wants to try new veggies. Not too many kids are like that! And way to go to you for encouraging and "playing" along with it.


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