Phew that was a long title. It really should be: A modern day take on a home-baked casserole. But it’s just not witty. But let’s get to the point, shall we?
Casseroles don’t have to solely consist of food from a tin can. The wonderful thing about a casserole is that you can pack it with veggies, and use your creativity in the items you combine, put it in a lovely pyrex dish, and pop it in the oven.
I recently had a whole bunch of leeks, onions, and garlic. I may have even had some kale in that mix. I needed to use it up and I came up with this casserole using only things I had on hand. Yes, sometimes it’s possible in my household that I’ll have a container of homemade ricotta that needs to be used, and it just so happened this was that day. However, you can use ricotta from the store and it would be just as delicious.
Veggie Tomato Ricotta Casserole
Fill a saute pan with a bunch of chopped fresh vegetables and saute with olive oil until cooked: the goal is to get as much water out of the vegetables before adding to the casserole. Throw in as many fresh herbs as you like: I like thyme and rosemary, especially.
Boil a pot of water and cook half a bag of pasta: I like corkscrew, penne, or bowties for this use. Drain and set aside.
In a casserole dish, spread 1/3 of a jar of Italian tomato sauce. I used sauce I had canned last fall, but you can use a jar from the store, or cook up your own if you have an abundance of tomatoes. Then layer, as you would a lasagna, the noodles, vegetables, crumbled ricotta cheese, until you’ve used up all of your ingredients. Top with mozzarella or another meltable cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until bubbly and your house smells delicious.
And not a can of Cream of Mushroom soup in sight.
Speaking of soup, tomorrow’s Casserole Hotline continues with Tricks with Soups recipes from 1956. Oh you know what’s coming, don’t you?