I've just come in from outside checking on the tomatoes. Boy, will we have a lot this year. I have to add, nothing to do with my fair hand this time, all on the husband. Last year was the first year in years that I didn't plant a vegetable garden and I honestly found it depressing. We moved house and I just didn't have the motivation or the interest to start over again. Life. This past winter I was thinking about the vegetable garden once again and thinking I must get it going. Then one day out the blue, there he was tending to it and making it happen. So, now we have a small area of very vivacious tomato plants growing. They are all full of flowers which leads me to believe there will be lots of tomatoes. As for the variety, I am hoping at least some cherry tomatoes, some salad and hopefully some heirloom. Will keep you posted.
So, once the tomatoes are in full force, I can get back into cooking sauces with them. there is nothing better than a good marinara sauce made from home grown tomatoes.
Note: This recipe uses a mix of can stewed tomatoes and Marinara Sauce. It adds a great flavour to the dish that you wouldn't get from using straight marinara sauce. If you don't make your own Marinara Sauce, you can just buy your favourite kind from the supermarket. Again, take a look the Marinara Sauce: Canning Method. Really worth the effort if you use this stuff as much as I do.
A great dish for rainy days, cold days, weekends, pot lucks. family get togethers, having friends around...well, good for anything really. In my house, you just can't go wrong with pasta. I know many people are gluten intolerant, so you could use gluten free pasta if you still love pasta but can't have the gluten.
Like a lot of pasta bake dishes, this can be made ahead and refrigerated and cooked several hours later. If you do it this way bake the dish for about 5 minutes longer than the time recommended.
Tomato & Zucchini Oven Baked Pasta
Serves 6 / Prep time: 15 minutes / Cook time: 1 hour
8 oz/250 grams penne pasta
1 Zucchini, halved lengthways and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 onion, finely diced
3 Garlic cloves, crushed
4 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 Large 16 oz can whole tomatoes
1 Cup/240 ml Marinara Sauce
1/2 Teaspoon oregano
1/2 Teaspoon rosemary
Fresh black pepper
2 Tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
1/2 Cup/50 grams Parmesan, finely grated
1 Ball fresh mozzarella, cut into slices
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and have ready a deep sided 8 inch baking dish.
In a large skillet set over medium high heat, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the zucchini. Stir well and cook for about 10 minutes until the zucchini is cooked and charred on the outside. Remove from heat.
In a separate large skillet set over high heat, add the remaining olive oil, garlic and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. The onions should be softened and slightly caramelized. Add the canned tomatoes to the skillet and set heat to high. Stir well. Using two wooden spoons, start chopping up the tomatoes until they are all fairly chopped well. Add the oregano, rosemary, black pepper and sea salt Stir well and allow to cook until most of the pan juices have evaporated and you are left with quite a thick sauce. This will take about 15 minutes. Add the marinara sauce, parmesan cheese and parsley to the pan,bring to a simmer and sir well. Leave to simmer for just a couple of minutes and remove from heat.
Cook the pasta al dente, drain and set aside.
Add the pasta to the baking dish, spoon over zucchini and finally the sauce. Stir well to combine. Top with fresh mozzarella slices and bake for about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for about 5 minutes before serving.
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Hello and thanks for stopping by. I'm Julia and I have a passion for wholesome fresh food. Here you can find what's cooking in my Spanish kitchen, with inspiration from my Newfoundland roots!
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