Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Another Dish from the Fridge - Baked Vegetarian Pasta - Again

There is no comfort food better than pasta!  Almost any vegetable and some fruits can meld together to make a nice savory dish!

The fact that the cold wintry weather is upon us in Minnesota nudges more of us to think pasta.. Being the fact that spring will arrive, also makes me think “watch it!” 

There is nothing worse than not being able to fit into any of the spring or summer clothes.  Also, too much ‘junk in the trunk’ is not exactly pleasant to carry around.

There were vegetables in the fridge that I had not decided what to use them in.  If I see nice zucchini and eggplant, I will buy some.   Then I decide how to use them.  That is probably not a good way to buy groceries, but it works for me.  I always eat the veggies that I buy.

So often, fresh veggies aren’t the best during the winter months, so I get them when I can get good looking ones.  Of course, I can always drive over to Whole Foods about 8 miles away compared to less than a 3 mile radius for several grocers nearby.

My pasta dishes aren’t really recipes, just what is on hand and how I mix it up.

So this is the dish as prepared.
Baked Vegetarian Pasta - baked - Mozzarella cheese melted B

The ‘Sauce’
2 tbsp garlic infused olive oil
3 small zucchini, thinly sliced
2 large red peppers, thinly sliced, cut into half inch pieces
1/2 large green pepper, thinly sliced, cut into half inch pieces
Bottled Italian Dried herb mix
1 tsp Mrs. Dash seasoning mix
1/2 tsp cumin spice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 can chopped tomatoes
Basically, Saut√© the vegetables just until peppers are just beginning to lose crispness. Stir in the can of tomatoes and heat until hot. The ‘sauce’ may be refrigerated up to 3 days prior to making the pasta dish.
Pasta Sauce - ingredients b4 tomatoes B

Pasta Sauce - ingredients cooking II B

Pasta Sauce - cooked B

After the 'Sauce' was complete

Pasta Dish

4 ounces Multigrain Penne
1/2 large eggplant cooked and cut into cubes
1 cup cooked baby bellas
1 cup 2% cottage cheese
15 ounces v8 juice
1/2 to 3/4 cup shredded real Parmesan cheese
Final Topping
about 1 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese


Spray a large casserole dish with oil spray.  spread penne over bottom of dish.  pour half of v8 juice into dish.
Layer the dish in this order
half of pasta sauce
egg plant
cottage cheese
remainder of sauce
Parmesan cheese

Baked Vegetarian Pasta - Assembling B

Baked Vegetarian Pasta - Added a cup Cottage Cheese B

Baked Vegetarian Pasta - now adding parmesan cheese B

Baked Vegetarian Pasta -  parmesan cheese added B

Cover and bake at 350F for 1 hour.

Baked Vegetarian Pasta - covered ready for baking B

Remove cover, sprinkle Mozzarella cheese over top, return to oven for about 10 minutes to melt the cheese

Baked Vegetarian Pasta - baked - ready for Mozarella cheese B

Baked Vegetarian Pasta - baked - ready to go back in the oven to melt mozarella B

Baked Vegetarian Pasta - baked - parmesan cheese melted B

Remove, allow to sit about 10 minutes,

So who’s counting calories?   Not me…..


Baked Vegetarian Pasta - baked - served up B

Baked Vegetarian Pasta - baked - served up II B

Baked Vegetarian Pasta - baked - served up IV B

Basically add what you have, including spinach, artichoke hearts, sliced black olives.



  1. Beautiful--nice and cheesy! Pete would love this, with all of the veggies. Nice work!

  2. Cathy - When I was posting this, I was thinking of you - with your family going totally vegetarian on you! I was sure they would enjoy all of the veggies.