Ratatouille Pasta al Forno
- Yield 10 to 12 servings
Loads of roasted vegetables are baked with whole-wheat pasta.
- 1 (1-pound) box whole-wheat rigatoni, rotini or penne pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
- 2 medium zucchini, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
- 1 medium eggplant, peeled and diced
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes in juice
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 (16-ounce) container low-fat ricotta cheese
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan or Romano-parmesan mixture (divided)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 (26-ounce) jar your favorite marinara sauce
- 1 (8-ounce) package shredded mozzarella or Italian cheese mixture (2 cups)
- Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and rinse in ice-cold water. Drain and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a nonreactive large saute pan over medium heat. Add onions, peppers, zucchini, garlic and dried Italian seasoning. Saute 4 minutes until lightly browned and remove from pan. Set aside on a plate.
- Add remaining oil to pan and add eggplant. Saute 2 minutes until lightly browned; add tomatoes. Simmer eggplant mixture 10 minutes until eggplant is tender; add basil.
- In a medium bowl, mix ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese and egg. (If you are making this casserole to freeze, you can layer and bake casserole in disposable aluminum pans of any size such as 1 or 2 quarts. Or you can bake 1 large roasting pan and cut casserole after baking but before freezing.)
- Combine cooked pasta with eggplant mixture. Spoon a third of marinara on bottom of a large roasting pan. Place half the pasta mixture over sauce.
- Place half the ricotta mixture and half shredded cheese over pasta and vegetables. Top with another third of the marinara sauce, remaining pasta mixture, remaining ricotta mixture and rest of sauce. Scatter remaining shredded cheese over top and sprinkle with 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.
- Cover and bake 40 minutes. Remove cover and bake an additional 10 minutes until browned on top.