What is with this weather lately. Microsoft Word is telling me that I should not be ending that with a period because it is obviously a question, but it is absolutely not a real question. It is so full of disgust for this weather-weirdness that I have moved completely outside of the realm of rhetorical questions and I am in full-on judgmental broad mode.
Anyway, when the weather shows me just how much of a two-timing jerk it is, what with the unexpected and surprising swings between beautiful, calm spring weather and bitingly cold winter temperatures (with tempestuous tornadoes in the southeast), I have no other recourse than to retreat within my warm abode and get the oven fired up.
I also have no patience for complicated cakes or pie crusts (which, to be fair, are not so much complicated as temperamental – pie crusts are the toddlers of the baking world). And, after all the crap I’ve been through with the weather, I need a whole lot more support than a roasted brussel sprout can give me.
That’s where the baked pasta dishes come in, and this time, we come armed with the big guns: zucchini and onions and garlic oh my! Here’s what you need:
- 1 box of pasta, I like a penne-esque noodle for this dish
- 1 jar of pasta sauce, because for me, the saucier the better (and I’m not just talking about pasta, in case you can’t catch my drift)
- 1 yellow onion
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 6 nicely sized zucchinis
- 16 ounces of your favorite mozzarella or vegan alternative
- Olive oil for your pan
OK, got all that? It’s not so much. If you’re feeling adventurous, add some mushrooms and red pepper flakes to that list. Otherwise, adding salt, pepper, basil, and oregano in amounts that suit your palate should work out just fine.
So now what? Don’t just stare at it! Eat it! Wait, no, don’t eat it quite yet. I’ve gotten ahead of myself.
Set your oven to 350° F. Boil the pasta. Then, while that’s going, fry the diced onion, chopped zucchini (nice thick rounds), and minced garlic in a pan with olive oil. This is where the seasoning comes in. Go until the onions are just barely translucent but the zucchini still looks vaguely under-cooked. Drain the pasta. Throw in the fried things and mix with vigor. Then, add half of your cheese. Mix again, this time with more vigor. Then, add the pasta sauce. Spread evenly in a 9 by 13 baking pan, and sprinkle the left over cheese over the top. Let it bake for 23-28 minutes, take it out, and let it cool. Then”¦enjoy! If possible, enjoy in a way that is spiteful towards this truly ridiculous weather.