The first nine days of the month of Av are a period of mourning over the destruction of the Temple. During this time we refrain from a number of things, including drinking wine and eating meat or poultry (with the exception of Shabbat). So today I'm sharing a simple pasta bake you can make for a relatively quick and easy dinner.
You'll need to sauté finely diced purple onion, zucchini, red pepper and button mushrooms. Onions take the longest, so start with those. Sauté the onions over a low flame until soft and translucent, approximately 15 minutes. Then add the zucchini and peppers and sauté until just wilted - approximately 2-3 minutes. The mushrooms cook the quickest, so add them last for about a minute.
Cook the pasta al dente. Rinse and drain.
Cook the sautéed vegetables with the milk, ricotta, shredded cheese and spices until cheese is melted. Stir in the cooked pasta and pour the mixture into a 9" x 9" square pan. Sprinkle with a mixture of breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese.
Cover the pan with foil and bake on 350° for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 20 minutes. Remove pan from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
- 1 purple onion, finely diced
- 1 red pepper, finely diced
- 1 small zucchini, finely diced
- 4 button mushrooms, finely diced
- 1 tsp. salt
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 8 oz. raw pasta, cooked (half a box)
- ¾ cup ricotta cheese
- ½ cup milk
- ¾ cup shredded cheese (I used a mixture of cheddar and mozzarella)
- 1 tsp. oregano
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- ½ cup panko crumbs or cornflake crumbs
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- Cook the pasta al dente. Rinse and drain.
- Sauté the onions in the oil and 1 tsp. salt until translucent and soft. Add the zucchinis and peppers and sauté until just wilted. Add the mushrooms and sauté for another minute or two.
- Add the milk, ricotta, shredded cheese, oregano, garlic and salt and cook until cheese is melted. Mix in the pasta and pour mixture into a 9" x 9" baking dish. Top with panko crumbs and parmesan cheese.
- Cover the dish and bake on 350° for 25 minutes, then uncovered for another 25 minutes.
- Serve warm.
Yields: One 9" x 9" square pan.