Eggplant is my favorite vegetables! Each year I grow eggplant in my garden, finding success with Japanese Eggplant varieties. Instead of just roasting eggplant (which I love), I wanted to try this Eggplant pasta dish and loved it!
EGGPLANT TOMATO AND MOZZARELLA PASTA BAKE
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound rigatoni
1 medium eggplant, diced
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
One 24-ounce jar marinara sauce
2 cups fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Nonstick cooking spray, for the baking dish
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season aggressively with salt. Add the rigatoni and cook 3 minutes less than the package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water and drain.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Toss the eggplant and tomatoes with 3 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread on the baking sheet and roast until the eggplant is golden brown and tomatoes are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. (Leave the oven on.)
Toss the rigatoni with the eggplant, tomatoes, about 1/4 cup pasta water and the marinara sauce in a large bowl. If it looks dry, add the remaining pasta water. Stir in 1 cup mozzarella.
Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Transfer the pasta to the baking dish and top with the remaining cup mozzarella and the Parmesan and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon olive oil.
Bake until the cheese is melted and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. (Turn the
broiler on at the end if you want the cheese to brown more.) Garnish with additional Parmesan and the chopped basil and serve.
Fresh Colorado peaches and so many recipes to try. I made this for a quick, delicious dinner and it didn’t disappoint. I enjoyed it with a glass of crisp, white wine. This flatbread with make repeat appearances in my home!
FLATBREAD WITH PEACH, PROSCIUTTO, AND MOZZARELLA
4 naan flatbreads
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
8 oz. fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
2 peaches, thinly sliced
4 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into bite-size pieces
1/2 c. thinly sliced fresh basil
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 450°.
Place flatbreads on two baking sheets and drizzle each with ½ tablespoon olive oil. Top with mozzarella, peaches, prosciutto, and ¼ cup basil, and season with salt and pepper.
Bake until crust is crisp and golden and cheese is melted, about 8 minutes.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup basil. Cut each pizza into quarters and serve immediately.
5 oz. organic fresh spinach (4 cups packed)
1-2 tsp. olive oil (depending on your pan)
1 1/2 cups low-fat mozzarella
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
8 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
fresh ground black pepper to taste
For 10.5″x14.75″ Pan:
10 oz. organic fresh spinach (I used frozen spinach and skipped the olive oil)
3 cups low-fat mozzarella
2/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
16 eggs, beaten
1.5 tsp. Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
1 tsp. dried thyme
fresh ground black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375F/190C. Spray glass or crockery casserole dish with olive oil or nonstick spray.
If using fresh spinach, heat the oil in a large frying pan, add spinach all at once, and stir just until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. If using frozen spinach, thaw and drain the spinach.
Transfer spinach to the casserole dish, spreading it around so all the bottom of the dish is covered. Layer the grated cheese and sliced onions on top of the spinach.
Beat the eggs with Lawry’s seasoned salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Pour the egg mixture over the spinach/cheese combination, and then use a fork to gently “stir” so the eggs, spinach, and cheese are evenly combined.
Bake about 35 minutes or until the mixture is completely set and starting to lightly brown. Let cool about 5 minutes before cutting. Serve hot.
This dish could be served with salsa, sour cream, or hot sauce.
This can be cut into individual servings to keep in the fridge and microwaved for a quick breakfast during the week. Don’t microwave longer than 1-2 minutes or the eggs can get slightly rubbery.
Zucchini is the vegetable that keeps on giving, except in my garden. Daughter Megan has several plants and shares the wealth with family and friends.
Zucchini can be a blessing or a curse. I’ve read a quote online that supposedly came from Garrison Keillor that made me laugh. ‘July is the only time of year when country people lock our cars in the church parking lot, so people don’t put squash on the front seat.’
We’ll be wishing for garden fresh zucchini this winter so we’ll, again, get creative with the zucchini recipes.
3 small (or 2 medium) zucchini
Cherry or Sun Gold tomatoes (sliced in half)
salt and pepper
Bread crumbs (plain or seasoned)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise and slice a bit off the back side so the zucchini will lie flat on the baking pan. Scoop out the centers of the zucchini halves with a spoon.
Brush the surface of each zucchini half with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Slice tomatoes in half, and arrange them into the grooves.
Lightly sprinkle with bread crumbs. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese or parmesan cheese (or both) and bake for about 30-40 minutes until tender.
Optional: Set your oven to broil, and continue to cook another minute or two until cheese is golden and bubbly.
Now that I’m MUCH older, I’m feeling a little lazy around the postings so taking it easy for a week or two and celebrating the rest of my birthday month.
Even though I’m feeling lazy, sometimes you want a wonderful appetizer but don’t feel like putting a lot of time into it. Are you with me?
Many years ago a popular appetizer was a brick of cream cheese with jalapeno jelly and it is still a favorite but I like to shake it up a little. I purchased a fantastic jar of Shirley Ann’s Raspberry Chipotle Jalapeno Jam a while back and paired it with slices of Buffalo Mozzarella with crackers and sliced baguette. Yummo! It would be equally wonderful with a fine Brie.
Squash season is here! While my garden has yet to produce zucchini or yellow squash, my friend Jan has been kind enough to share. Summer squash baked with onion, peppers drizzled with olive oil, seasoned with herbs and topped with melted Mozzarella is a summer staple.
SUMMER SQUASH BAKE
1-2 small to medium sized zucchini, sliced
2 small to medium sized yellow squash, sliced
1 small onion, chopped
1-2 Anaheim or green sweet peppers, chopped
drizzle of olive oil
optional: diced Japanese eggplant
sprinkle of herbs of choice (I have used thyme, summer savory or this time I used Cantanzo Herbs)
Salt and pepper
Shredded Parmesan Cheese or cheese or choice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Toss all ingredients, except cheese, and place in greased casserole dish.
Top with shredded cheese.
Bake 45 minutes or until all ingredients are cooked through.
Italian Pie is a family favorite for my good buddy, Jan. She suggested I give it a whirl. I can certainly see why it’s a favorite. The crisp crust paired with the hearty meat layer and the yummy cheese layer result in a wonderful, easy meal for your family. Pair with a nice salad, French bread and you’re set!
Next time, I plan to serve it with a side of marina sauce for those that may enjoy a little extra tomato flavor with their pie. Buon appetito!
1 refrigerated pie crust
Bake a pie crust (I used Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust). Pierce unbaked crust with fork and bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees. While the pie crust is baking, brown the meat layer:
1 pound ground chuck
1 onion, chopped
1/2 pound mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt & pepper
Cook ground chuck, onion, mushrooms, garlic and seasonings until cooked through. Drain.
1 cup small curd cottage cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
garlic salt & pepper
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Combine all cheese layer ingredients together
Pour cooked meat layer into baked crust.
Top with cheese mixture.
Sprinkle top of Italian pie with 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese.
Sprinkle with dried parsley.
Place aluminum foil around the crust edge to protect from over baking.