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Vegetable Baked Ziti*

12 oz. uncooked tube-shaped pasta, such as ziti or penne
28 oz. crushed tomatoes
1 t. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch swiss chard, shredded
1 bell pepper, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 t. dried oregano
2 T. chopped fresh basil
salt & pepper to taste
8 oz. ricotta cheese (I used cottage cheese as I had it on hand but use less salt as the sodium count in cottage cheese is a bit higher than ricotta!)
1/4 c. fresh grated parmesan cheese
2 c. shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven to 375 and grease a 13x9 inch casserole dish.

Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions. Drain.

Heat oil in sauté pan over medium heat. Add garlic, onion and bell peppers to pan, cook for 3-5 minutes until just tender. Add zucchini and swiss chard, cook just until chard is wilted. Stir in tomatoes, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and remove from heat.

In a large bowl combine the pasta, the vegetable mixture, the ricotta cheese and half of the mozzarella. Transfer pasta/vegetable mixture to the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheeses evenly over the top.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheeses are bubbly.

Serves 8

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Header photo by
Gillian Gunson