Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Summer Vegetable Ricotta Pasta

I made this for dinner a couple of nights ago because it seemed simple and delicious. I pinned it from this website--http://rantingchef.com/2012/07/01/no-chipmunk-cheeks-here/
& only made a few adjustments. 

First and foremost, I just added chicken because I felt like it needed some sort of "meat."  I also didn't really measure out anything exactly, as it's really a hassle to measure out 74 different seasonings and I'm not much of a "by-the-recipe" person.  As with almost all hearty pasta dishes, the leftovers were awesome and reheated well.  Lastly, if I make this again, I will probably up the quantity of vegetables I use.  If you are a veggie lover, then I would advise you to also add more than the quantities mentioned below.  

Anyway, here is the general procedure I followed:

Summer Vegetable Ricotta Pasta
  • Preheat oven to 400 
  • Cook about 3/4 of a 1-lb. box of your preferred pasta in a large pot with salted water--really, any pasta will work (rigatoni, ziti, macaroni, penne, etc)
  • In a large saute pan over medium heat:
    • Drizzle with EVOO
    • Toss in the first round of bite-size veggies, in this order:
      • Onion ( I used 1/4 yellow onion)
      • Zucchini (I used two medium zucchini)
      • Yellow Squash (I used one medium squash)
    • Add in diced chicken breast (I used about 5-6 chicken breast tenderloins)
    • Season with: 
      • salt
      • pepper
      • Italian seasonings
      • pinch of crushed red pepper
      • whatever your heart desires!
    • After a few minutes, add in a second round of veggies:
      • 2-3 cloves of minced garlic
      • tomatoes (I used 4-5 Campari tomatoes from Costco)
  • In a medium bowl, prepare the sauce by combining:
    • 1 egg
    • 8 oz. whole milk Ricotta cheese (I used 1/2 of a 15 oz. container)
    • 1/3 c. parmesan cheese
    • splash of half & half
    • fresh, chopped basil (I used ~3T)
    • 1/4 t. salt
    • 1/4 t. pepper
  • Assemble dish:
    • Place cooked pasta on bottom of baking dish 
    • Cover pasta with cooked vegetables and chicken 
    • Pour in prepared sauce
    • Toss a few times to incorporate everything
    • Sprinkle with a generous helping of cheese (I used pre-shredded 6 Italian Cheeses Blend)
  • Bake for about 15-20 until cheese is melted and starting to crisp up

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