Tag Archives: Easy Italian Recipes

Simple and Delicious-Vegetable Baked Ziti

9 Mar

The other day a friend told me that she had no time to go the gym because she had to make dinner for her husband.  Understandably, working a nine to five job and cooking can be time consuming, but with a little imagination and careful planning,  you can do it all.

I made this recipe after spending 30 wonderful minutes on the treadmill. I used whatever vegetables I had in the refrigerator, washed and chopped them in a matter of 10 minutes, threw everything in one skillet, and waved my magic wand… Cleanup was a breeze and dinner was delicious and healthy. Here is a similar recipe below.


 

Ingredients

  • 1  tablespoon  vegetable oil
  • 1  cup  chopped onion
  • 1-2  cups  chopped green, yellow, or red bell pepper- be adventurous and use more than one kind
  • 1  cup  fresh broccoli, frozen spinach or anything else your heart desires
  • 4  garlic cloves, chopped or use garlic powder to taste
  • A handful of fresh basil or 1  teaspoon dry basil
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce
  • 3  cups  hot cooked ziti (about 2 1/4 cups uncooked short tube-shaped pasta)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1  cup  part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/4  cup  (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375°.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell peppers, and sauté 5 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in basil, salt, black pepper, add tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes or until slightly thick.

In a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray add pasta, vegetables and sauce. Dollop with ricotta, parmesan, and mozzarella. Stir together, cover and bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until lightly browned if desired.

Note: To make ahead, assemble casserole as directed. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature, and bake as directed.