Baked Vegetable Ziti

Hello Everyone! The meal prep continues now that I'm back in town, and this week I kicked it off with a new recipe - baked vegetable ziti! The fun thing about this recipe is that you can get creative with the vegetables you use due to your preference, This go around, I used bell pepper, onion, and zucchini. This was a great dish for sharing, and also made great leftovers. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

8 oz ziti pasta

15 oz ricotta cheese

32 oz marinara sauce (I prefer Rao's)

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped (reserving 1/2 tb for garnish)

2-3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (I prefer to shred a block of cheese vs. the pre-shredded)

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 bell pepper, diced (I used green, but you could use any you prefer)

1 zucchini, diced

salt and pepper to taste

1 tb olive oil

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss all of the vegetables in a bowl together with the olive oil, and a dash of salt and pepper. Coat well. Spread out on a baking sheet, using parchment paper. Roast for approximately 15-20 minutes. In the meantime, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta per the box's instructions, but cook to where it's right below al dente since it will continue to cook in the oven. Drain the pasta and place back in the pot. Add 2 cups of the marinara sauce, the fresh basil (all but 1/2 tb), and 1/2 cup of the cheese to the pasta and stir. Begin to assemble. In a 9x13 dish, spread the bottom with a little of the marinara sauce for a thin coating (~ 1 cup). Add half of the pasta mixture and spread into an even layer, half of the veggies, half of the ricotta, and 1/2 cup of the mozzarella. Top that with the remaining pasta mixture, the remaining veggies, ricotta, the remaining marinara and mozzarella cheese. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. If necessary or desired, place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes to brown the top. Let sit for 10 minutes. Top with a little fresh basil and serve!

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