Vegetarian Recipe: Baked Pasta Casserole

>> Saturday, May 8, 2010

I've always been the type of cook that says, "I'm making what I want. If you don't like it, you can have a peanut butter sandwich." But recently, I decided that although this philosophy has led to kids who will eat kale and collard greens, it has also led to a lot of food waste. And while I don't want to stop offering them kale and collard greens, perhaps I could offer them foods I know they don't like a little less often.

So recently, I went through my recipes and cut out the ones that only my husband and I will eat. Out with the spicy, out with the "weird," in with a lot more pancakes for dinner.

Strangely, none of my boys like pasta. Hoping that it was just the recipes I was using, I decided to cut out most of my pasta recipes and try out some new ones. My first attempt was this Baked Pasta Casserole from 101 Cookbooks with only slight modifications (I used kale instead of spinach and rotini instead of shells because that's what I had on hand, and I didn't bake it because I was in a rush...Next time, I'll definitely bake it.)

Baked Pasta Casserole

Serves 8
Cost: $1.70 per serving

extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 pound whole wheat pasta shells
sea salt
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 cups well-chopped fresh spinach
1 1/2 cups sliced almonds, lightly toasted
zest of 2 lemons
8 ounces shredded mozzarella
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a large casserole dish.
  • Cook pasta according to package directions.
  • Saute the onion in olive oil. Stir in garlic and spinach. Cook just until wilted.
  • Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup of almonds and half of the zest. Add to pasta and mix extremely well.
  • Sprinkle the bottom of a casserole dish with the rest of the zest. Add a layer of pasta, a layer of cheese, and so on, finishing with a layer of cheese.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, until cheese is melted.
  • Top with remaining almonds before serving.
I thought this had a very surprising mix of flavors - in a good way - but my boys still wouldn't eat it. It was one of those strange meals where they pick out all of the pasta and only eat the cheese and kale. Weirdos.

Do you have a favorite pasta recipe? Include it in our Meatless Monday link-up at the Green Phone Booth every Monday!


viagra April 14, 2011 at 1:44 PM  

I'm a vegan and I think this blog has been helping me to improve my knowledge about recipes... in this case I've learned how to made a delicious Casserole but at the same time it'd be nice if you can add some pictures or illustration with the same dish finished. 23jj

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