I love a hearty baked pasta casserole on a cold winter’s evening. There is something so satisfying about pulling a hot bubbling casserole out of the oven for dinner long after the sun has set. I recently made this casserole when we were in the midst of a ridiculous snowstorm. I say ridiculous because it is was the fifth one we’d had in five weeks! Since there wasn’t much to do outside we stayed inside and I assembled this casserole while my daughter napped. Then I popped it in the oven before dinner so it was baked fresh for dinner. Paired with an amazing crusty garlic bread and green salad it was the perfect meal for cold, snowy night.
Roasted Vegetable Baked Ziti
loosely adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
2 red peppers, cored, deseeded and cut into 1-inch wide strips
6-8 thick asparagus, cut into 1-inch strips
2 yellow squash, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 yellow onion, peeled and sliced into 1-inch strips
1/4 olive oil
Pinch of Kosher Salt
1 lb. ziti or other short pasta
2 ½ c. marinara sauce
1 cup fresh mozzarella, grated
1 /4 cup fresh Parmesan great, plus more for top
- Preheat oven to 450 F
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and toss on the peppers, asparagus, squash and onion. Drizzle the olive oil and a pinch of salt over the vegetables. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until tender enough that a fork spears them.
- Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook ziti for approximately 10 minutes. You don’t want them too overcooked since they will be put in the oven.
- Drain the cooked pasta in a colander and place in a large bowl.
- Add the vegetables, marinara, Parmesan and mozzarella along with a pinch of Kosher salt and a crank of pepper. Mix with a spatula until everything is completely combined.
- Pour into a buttered 9×13 baking dish and lightly sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake for about 30 minutes or until top crispy and cheese has melted.