Baked Ziti with Summer Vegetables: What’s Baking?

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     This month the What’s Baking? challenge was hosted by Jade of The Mess Pot.  Her theme for August was Celebrate Summer by using either an ingredient that makes people think of summer or an ingredient that is in season in the summer.  When I started deciding what to make I had to go no further then my own backyard.  My vegetable has been in full bloom as has my herb garden.  After taking a quick inventory of what I had out in the garden it was easy to decided on a recipe.

      I made a baked ziti with summer vegetables and herbs.  Included in the ziti were zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, oregano, and parsley all grown in my garden.  The sauce includes a little bit of olive oil, a little ricotta cheese, some mozzarella, and some herbs.  It was a light and fresh pasta dish that didn’t weigh me down in the summer heat.  Additional vegetables or herbs could be added according to what is available.  This is a delicious pasta that I will be making again as I pick more vegetables from the garden.

Baked Ziti with Summer Vegetables (adapted from Cooking Light)

9 oz. uncooked ziti or penne
2 T. olive oil, divided
1 medium yellow squash, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 c. part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 T. fresh chopped parsley
1 T. fresh chopped oregano
1 t. salt

1 t. black pepper

1/2 t. red pepper

1/2 c. part skim ricotta cheese

1 egg

1.  Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain and keep warm.

2.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add in 1 T. olive oil.  Once it is hot add in the zucchini, squash, and onion.  Saute for 5 minutes.  Add in the tomato and garlic and continue sauteing for 3 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the pasta, 1/2 c. mozzarella, herbs, salt, and both peppers. 

3.  In a small bowl combine the ricotta cheese and egg.  Stir into the pasta mixture and spoon into a 9 x 13 pan coated in cooking spray.  Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley and grated Parmesan cheese.

This post linked to:
Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays, Dr. Laura’s Tasty Tuesdays
What’s Cooking Wednesday?  What’s on Your Plate Wednesday?
Cast Party Wednesday, Made it on Monday


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