Vegetarian Spinach Baked Ziti
Festive Vegetarian Baked Ziti
A tangy vegetarian ziti to serve as the core of a vegetarian Italian meal.
If you've been looking through a lot of these recipes, it is seeming more and more that they are coming down to things to take to other meals: pot lucks, barbecues, dinners, etc... This is another one of those. The Circle K up at Tech was having a pot luck dinner for their holiday party where they draw the winners of their holiday raffle. I looked over the list of things people were bringing and noticed that there wasn't a vegetarian main dish - and at least one member of the Circle K is vegetarian. So, I thought I could make a vegetarian dish.
Vegetarian Baked Ziti with Spinach
Serves about 8
- 2 large orange bell peppers, diced
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 bunch spinach, rinsed and drained, stems cut off
- 1 bunch parsley, rinsed and drained, stems cut off
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 package (8-9 oz.) coiled or tube-type whole-wheat pasta (ziti, rotel, penne, etc.)
- 2 lbs. mozzarella, shredded or grated
- 5 oz. Gorgonzola crumbles
- 2 oz. fresh Parmesan, grated
- 4 medium Roma tomatoes, diced
- 2 jars (about 30 oz. total) Alfredo sauce
Prepare fillings. Saute the pepper and onion in the olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, salt and pepper while stirring. After about 10 minutes the onion should be starting to go clear. Add spinach and 2/3 of parsley and cover. Let steam for 7 minutes.
While filling is cooking, begin pasta. Keep an eye on the pasta, as you will only want to cook it about 2/3 done. The rest of the cooking will happen in the oven. Drain pasta and blanch in cold running tap water.
When the pasta is ready (remember, only about 2/3 cooked), pour about half of one jar of sauce in a large baking pan to just cover the bottom and keep the pasta from sticking. Pour in a layer of pasta - about 1/3 of what you have and spread it out more or less evenly. Cover evenly with Gorgonzola and tomatoes. Add the rest of the first jar of sauce. Add another layer of pasta. Cover with the filling. You'll have to separate out the spinach and parsley, which is likely to have clumped together. Add about half of the Mozzarella and spread more-or less evenly. Add about half of the second jar of sauce. Cover with remaining pasta, then remaining sauce, then remaining mozzarella. Cover with Parmesan. Chop half of the remaining parsley and garnish.
Bake at 375° for 35 minutes or until the top has golden points.
Remove from oven and let sit for about 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with remaining parsley before serving.
Serve with salad and garlic herb bread. Additional Parmesan can be used at the table as a garnish.