This summer vegetable baked pasta is packed with summer vegetables that overflow from your garden like zucchini, squash, tomatoes, and asparagus. A creamy sauce brings it together with whole wheat pasta.
Brooke, the blogger behind the site Skinny Mom and BrookeGriffin.com, asked if I’d like to test out her new cookbook: Skinny Suppers: 125 Lightened-Up, Healthier Meals for Your Family, which just came out a month ago. Always in need of some kitchen inspiration, I happily accepted! Having someone else design the recipes is kind of like having someone else cook for you : ) The book is packed with 125 family-friendly recipes that are designed to be both easy and light on the waistline.
Calling all gardeners: Summer Vegetable Baked Pasta
I couldn’t wait to make this Farmers’ Market Garden Bake, as I love a good one-dish meal. This summer vegetable baked pasta is packed with fresh vegetables! I want to make this again when I can get all of my veggies from the Charlottesville area.
Brooke calls this recipe a “garden of goodness,” and it surely is. This recipes includes pasta and cheese plus an abundance of vegetables: asparagus, squash, peppers and tomato.
The sauce = heaven
I LOVED the sauce made with sherry and ricotta, plus a sprinkle of lemon zest.
The method was easy: cook pasta, cook veggies, make sauce, toss, and bake with cheese on top!
The end result was soooo good! I’ll be eating this for days : )
A few notes from my version:
- I used shells instead of farfalle because that’s what I had.
- Naturally, I omitted the onions : )
- I used full-fat ricotta and cheese, because….yum.
Here’s the official recipe!
Farmers' Market Garden Bake
- 8 ounces high-protein farfalle pasta or shells in my case!
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 small yellow squash diced
- 1 small zucchini diced
- 1 bell pepper diced
- 1 pound asparagus cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup frozen pearl onions
- 1 to mato diced
- For the sauce
- 1/4 cup cooking sherry or low-sodium veggie broth
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 tsp grated lemon zest
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp dired oregano
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 13x9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the pasta to al dente according to the package directions. Reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water, drain pasta and set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic, squash, zucchini, bell pepper, asparagus, and onions and saute for 5 minutes. Add the tomato and saute for an additional 2 minutes, until the veggies have softened.
- Remove the vegetables from the heat and fold in the cooked pasta.
- To make the sauce: In a small saucepan, bring the sherry to a simmer over medium heat. Add the reserved 1/2 cup pasta water and the ricotta and whisk for 2 minutes to incorporate. Season with the lemon zest, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Add 1/2 cup of the mozzarella and stir until melted, about 2 minutes. Carefully transfer the sauce to a blender (or use an immersion blender) and blend for 1-2 minutes until smooth.
- Pour the sauce over the pasta and vegetables. Mix until everything is evenly coated.
- Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish and top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted, about 15-20 minutes.