This Roasted Vegetable Baked Ziti recipe reminds me of an easier version of lasagna. It’s cooked pasta coated in a creamy ricotta mixture, mixed with roasted vegetables, topped in red sauce and mozzarella.
This delicious Italian recipe comes from the new cookbook written by my friend Alexandra Caspero Lenz (of Delish Knowledge). The book is Fresh Italian Cooking for the New Generation: 100 full-flavored vegetarian dishes that prove you can stay slim while eating pasta and bread.
Most of the recipes in this book follow a nutrient-dense approach to food: lots of in-season vegetables, pulses, whole-grains and healthy fats. It’s a vegetarian cookbook. While I’m not a vegetarian, there are tons of recipes in this book that I can’t wait to try, like: Pasta Alla Puttanesca, Popeye’s Spaghetti with Mushrooms, Weeknight Noodle Soup, and Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Balsamic Brown Butter and Sage Sauce. Yum!
If you would like to buy this book, check out the Amazon link here: Fresh Italian Cooking for the New Generation: 100 full-flavored vegetarian dishes that prove you can stay slim while eating pasta and bread.
I LOVE what the roasted zucchini, carrots, and broccoli add to Alex’s baked pasta dish! If you try it, let me know what you think. 🙂
- 2 cups squash (zucchini, summer, or a mix), chopped
- 2 medium carrots, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 cups broccoli florets, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 12 oz. ziti pasta
- 1 (15 oz.) container part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1¼ cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- Scant ⅛ tsp. nutmeg, freshly ground
- ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
- 1 (26 oz.) jar marinara sauce
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss the squash, carrots, and broccoli with the olive oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Mix well and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. (You may need two sheets.) Roast for 35-40 minutes until just tender.
- While the vegetables are cooking, make the ziti. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the ziti. Cook until just al dente, then drain but do not rinse.
- In a large bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, egg, ½ cup mozzarella cheese, nutmeg, crushed red pepper flakes and a few cracks of freshly ground pepper. Add the vegetables and pasta to the cheese mixture and stir until just combined.
- Reduce oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour 1 cup of the marinara sauce in a 9x13-inch baking dish, enough to cover the bottom. Add the ziti mixture and cover with remaining sauce. Top with ¾ cup mozzarella. Lightly tent with foil so that the cheese doesn't stick to the foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and cook another 15 minutes until bubbly and hot. Remove from oven and let stand 15 minutes before serving.