I'll admit it - I don't cook at home as much as I should. During the week I have after-work activities planned about half the time, and the rest of the time I get home so late that I'm usually not in the mood to fix dinner.
Yesterday, though, I managed to leave the office at 5:30 and swing by the grocery store. It was not the ideal time to grocery shop and I got stuck with a crippled cart, but I made it home by 6:30 and launched into one of my favorite recipes, Baked Ziti with Roasted Vegetables. Heck, I'll share it with you:
Baked Ziti With Roasted Vegetables
1 lb. eggplant, cut into 1 in. dice (4 cups)
1 large red onion, cut into 1 in. dice
2 yellow (or red or green) peppers, chopped
1 tbl. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onions
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed
1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp. sugar
pinch of thyme
2 tbl. chopped fresh parsley
1 pkg. (16 oz.) ziti pasta, cooked
1 bunch (10 oz.) spinach, chopped
4 oz. (1 cup) shredded mozzarella cheese
Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Toss eggplant, red onion, peppers, oil and salt in jellyroll pan (I usually line mine with foil for easy cleanup). Roast 30 minutes, stirring once or twice, until vegetables begin to brown.
Make sauce: Heat oil in saucepan. Add onions and cook covered over medium low heat 10 minutes. Stir in garlic, red pepper and fennel; cook 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, sugar and thyme. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in parsley. Makes 3 cups sauce.
Reduce oven heat to 400 degrees F. Toss ziti with vegetables, sauce and spinach in large bowl. Spread in shallow 3-quart baking dish. Sprinkle mozzarella over top. Bake 20 minutes or until bubbly.
*Note: I sometimes brown a pound of hamburger and add it to this dish.
This recipe came from the January 1995 issue of Ladies Home Journal. They didn't have it online or I would have just linked to it directly. And no, I cannot explain what I was doing with a copy of the Ladies Home Journal, even clear back in 1995.
This recipe sounds like a lot of trouble, but it really goes pretty quickly. If I could operate more than two stove burners at once without tripping the @#$% breaker, it would go even more quickly. I own a mortar and pestle pretty much for no other reason than to crush the fennel seed for this particular recipe.
Tonight: meatloaf with new potatoes and green beans. Now: another vanilla protein shake with strawberries. I can't wait until dinner!