One of my raves about living in regional areas – especially a foodie haven like Orange – is the ease of getting cheap pub food. OMG, I didn’t declare that out loud did I? Forgive me if I sound like a total cheapie! But who doesn’t like cheap (and delicious) food? Okay, I sound like a total cheapie again. I couldn’t help it, ha!
HOW TO MAKE BAKED PASTA WITH ROASTED PEPPERS AND ZUCCHINI & GIVEAWAY
2 small zucchinis, grated
About 1½ whole red peppers worths of roasted pepper (mine came in a jar soaked in oil, drained)
1 medium sized onion, diced
1 small head of garlic, peeled & finely chopped
1 x 400g (14 oz) crushed/whole tomatoes in a can
1 x400g (14oz) cannellini beans in can *optional*
2½ cups of penne
1 tbsp Masterfood Italian Herbs
Salt to taste
¾ cup shredded cheese (I used a mix of mozzarella, romano and parmesan)
Fresh parsley for garnish *optional*
Peel onion and garlic. Dice onion and finely chop garlic. Set aside.
Roughly grate zucchinis. I used a food processor with a grater disc to do mine. You want the zucchinis to be quite coarsely grated. I find the juice from zucchinis is likely to ooze out if they were grated finely. You don’t want that.
Blend the canned tomato with roasted pepper until silky smooth. Set aside.
Heat some olive oil in a large pot over high heat. Add onion and saute until almost translucent. Follow by garlic and dried italian herbs, saute until aromatic. Then add zucchini. Saute until wilted.
Add the tomato-pepper mixture, cannellini beans to the pot and a quarter cup of water. Let it simmer over high heat until boiling then turn the heat to low to a gentle simmer, covered. Note – the beans are totally optional. I just like to bulk up my food so it lasts a couple of days.
Simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and turn off the heat and set aside.
Get ready your preferred short pasta. I used San Remo‘s penne. Cook according to the packet direction – however, remove the pasta from the boiling water one minute before the specified cooking time.
Add the pasta in the sauce and mix to combine. Heat the pasta mixture until the pasta is al dente.
Transfer the pasta to a baking dish. Sprinkle shredded cheese over it and place it under a grill until the cheese is melted. Garnish with chopped parsley just before serving.