Why yes, that is a summer watermelon sitting next to a winter squash. Why do you ask? 😀
I am aiming on cutting down my (our) meat consumption – bit tricky when Adam loves meat so much. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not aiming for vegetarian or vegan (personally don’t think I have the discipline for either, plus I get really tired/unhappy without animal protein [I think it’s the concentration]). Any rate! Cutting down on meat consumption – basically, I’m trying to aim for actual USDA portion recommendations (6 ozs is less [visually] than you think) and one or two meatless nights. Which you know, is still higher than historical averages. It’s a health thing, a portion control thing, and a trying to walk the environmental talk I believe.
So! I rather wanted this recipe to work out – it’s got a lot of things I love to eat (pasta, broccoli, cheese!, chickpeas) and making a big casserole is great for the leftovers and building lunches to take to work.
One, the kitchen ended up looking like a disaster zone. Now admittedly, that’s on me and my need to improve on dealing with multiple moving parts and cooking implements. But multiple moving parts! Any time that pops up, stuff better be freaking amazing to be worth the time (and stress) of making it again.
Two, there was just something missing. Not ‘eh, it’s okay, we’ve made better’ (which is enough to boot a recipe) but something was actively missing. Maybe I needed to mix in some nuts for texture. Or have actually exchanged the 1% milkfat cottage cheese we accidentally grabbed for the 4% called for in the recipe. Also, it’s just too light, even after we browned up some ground beef (using the same seasonings as the main part) and mixed that in.
So, multiple moving parts (which usually stresses me out, especially on a weeknight) producing something that neither of us found very tasty. I’m still posting the recipe to this one, since maybe one of y’all will make it amazing for your family.
Tomato-Mozzarella Pasta Bake
Originally from TheKitchn.com
Makes ~10 small servings, 6-7 large servings?
Recipes left to try (& copy…): 26; Dinners: 6 recipes left
- 1 lb pasta, your choice of type
- 1 lb broccoli, fresh
- 4 medium tomatoes, divided
- 3/4 lb onions, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
- one 15 oz can of chickpeas, drained
- dried basil, to taste
- 1/2 lb full-fat mozzarella, divided
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375°F; lightly grease a 9″x13″ casserole dish and set aside. Heat a large pot of salted water. Add the pasta and cook until barely al dente. Drain, then return to the pot.
- Steam the broccoli, drain and cut into bite-sized florets. Toss with the cooked pasta. Chop three of the tomatoes into rough pieces and toss with the pasta. Stir in the onion, garlic, chickpeas, and ~half the basil you plan to use. Tear about 2/3rds of the mozzarella into small chunks and fold this into the pasta mixture.
- Whisk together the eggs, cottage cheese, and lemon juice. Stir in the Parmesan. Add this mixture to the pasta, along with the salt and pepper.
- Transfer the pasta to the casserole dish and spread out evenly. Slice the remaining tomato into half-moon slices, then arrange on top of the pasta. Tear the remaining mozzarella into pieces and scatter between the tomato slices. Drizzle with olive oil.
- Bake for 35 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the casserole is bubbly. Remove from oven and sprinkle with other half of basil. Serve.
So you know how I said in the ‘about me’ section that I can’t/don’t really cook from recipes unless they’ve been handwritten out? Apparently I’ve started to move past that (finally). Because I’ve bee able to try a couple of the recipes from this latest set before they’ve been copied out. Now I’m dropping out of my brain what I’m doing about twice as fast, and hence checking the recipe twice as much. But this is actually an improvement.
Also, why did no one tell me before that roasting broccoli is awesome? It’s the fastest I’ve ever roasted something, time always being the drive not to roast. So simple to do and these came out great. Like Adam trying the first piece and going ‘oh my god make these again, make them lots.’
Definitely copying out and putting in the binder. Don’t even have to add them to the list of things to try 🙂
Curry Roasted Broccoli
- 1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
- 1tsp masala mix (substitute your favorite type of curry spice mix here)
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- salt to taste
- ~2 tbsp olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Oil, spray with non-stick spray, lay down a sheet of parchment paper or otherwise prepare a baking sheet.
- Mix together the spices and salt.
- Arrange the broccoli on the baking sheet, then drizzle with the olive oil. Mix the two together (your hands work just fine for this), then sprinkle the spice mixture roughly evenly over the broccoli.
- Bake until the broccoli starts to turn golden at the edges, about 13-14 minutes, and serve.