Serve up some hidden vegetables in this Italian Pasta Casserole with Zucchini. Oh summer, is it possible that you have only been gone a mere 6 weeks? While I love sweater weather, I must protest the early storms that have battered the Northwest in the last few weeks. We have lost electricity twice since moving here. Thank goodness for knitted afghans and candles. But I digress.
Summer may be over, but thanks to the freezer, we can still enjoy some of her bounty. Frozen zucchini and berries, canned tomatoes and green beans are a reminder that warm weather will return and we will be complaining about droughts and the heat before we know it. In the mean time, let’s still enjoy the zucchini!
My kids have never learned to enjoy zucchini by itself. They are totally willing to eat it in baked goods, but serve it to them in all of its naked glory and they run for the hills. So, what is a sneaky, nutrition conscious mom to do? That’s right ~ hide it! This pasta casserole is the perfect vehicle for just such duplicitous cooking. My kids gobble it up and don’t even suspect that there might be more than meets the eye in their pasta.
I made this with gluten-free pasta, for a totally gluten-free dinner. It doesn’t matter what kind of pasta you use.
- 16 oz fusilli pasta, cooked al dente
- 1 pound ground beef, pork or Italian sausage
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 24 oz jar spaghetti sauce
- 2 medium zucchini, shredded
- 1 cup Feta cheese
- 15 oz ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
- Brown ground meat with onion and garlic.
- Drain excess fat.
- Add spaghetti sauce and zucchini to the meat.
- In a bowl, combine the Feta, ricotta and egg.
- In a 9x13 pan, layer ½ sauce, ½ pasta, all of the ricotta mixture, ½ pasta, ½ sauce and top with the Parmesan.
- Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.