Baked Ziti and Summer Veggies

I know I always say fall is my favorite time of year, but farmer's market season has to be a close second. There's nothing like heading down to the market on a summer Sunday morning, smelling all the fresh produce warming in the sun, and picking out some beautiful specimens to use in dinner that very evening. The fact that the veggies were grown organically not far from your home on a small family-run farm doesn't hurt, either.

This dish is a great way to showcase some of your farmer's market haul. If squash isn't really your thing, feel free to sub out things you like more -- eggplant in particular would be great. A light green salad with a lemony dressing is the perfect accompaniment.

Baked Ziti and Summer Veggies
From Cooking Light
  • 4 oz uncooked ziti
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped yellow squash
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2-3 chopped tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Cooking spray
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain. Preheat oven to 400 F.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan. Add squash, zucchini, and onion; saute 5 minutes. Add tomato and garlic, saute 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in pasta, 1/2 cup mozzarella, herbs, and a big pinch of salt and pepper.

Combine ricotta, another big pinch of salt, and egg. Stir into pasta mixture. Spoon into an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella. Bake for 15 minutes or until bubbly and browned.

Variations: Use eggplant instead of yellow squash. Kick up the heat in the dish by adding crushed red pepper.