Milkmaid's Recipe Box

FOOD, FOOD, FOOD! I'm such a FARMER at heart-- even a CALF knows that so much in life is about the FOOD! (A bit of a "bio" about me can be found way down near the bottom.)

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Monday, August 12, 2013

Ziti-Chicken-Zucchini Pasta Bake ("Lasagna Wannabe"-- sort of!)

This maybe doesn't look like the traditional lasagna, but its taste is SO similar!   A friend, Bruce, gave us plenty of Pepper Jack cheese; Pam's garden gave us the zucchini; and some left-over pieces of rotisserie chicken were just waiting to be used in.............. something.   This recipe used all of that.

  • 1 lb. box of ZITI or PENNE PASTA (uncooked)
  • 2 of 23.5 ounce jars of your favorite pasta sauce
  • 1 medium onion, chopped medium-fine
  • 10 oz. Pepper Jack cheese, grated
  • 2-4 chicken breasts, cooked and diced (I used some left-over rotisserie chicken).  If need be, I'm sure you could get by with just one cupful of small pieces of chicken.
  • 1 and 1/2  OR 2 cups shredded zucchini
If you used a larger/deeper baking dish, I can see putting a thin layer of cottage OR ricotta cheese in here, too.  Also, mushrooms and various other vegetables.


Cook dry pasta in boiling water until "medium soft" (I boiled mine for 11 minutes).  Drain.  Set aside.

In a 9x13" baking dish that's been sprayed with non-stick oil, layer the ingredients as follows.  While layering, I VERY LIGHTLY salted and peppered each individual layer(s) of pasta, and the zucchini:
  • Spaghetti Sauce
  • Chicken
  • Onion
  • Pasta
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • 1/2 amount of grated cheese
  • Zucchini
  • Pasta
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Remaining amount of cheese

My dish was VERY full.  In fact, after I added each layer of the cooked Penne pasta, needed to press it down a bit.  When I was done "layering", I took a spatula and gently moved ingredients a little away from around the edges so that the sauce would have more room as it heated.  Then, to be "kinder" to my oven, I set this dish on a dark kind of shallow baking sheet for... just in case it bubbled over.   But,... it didn't.

I baked this 9x13" batch for about 45 minutes 
(at 350-degrees) when I saw little bubbles around 
the edges.  Before serving, let set for 
about 10 minutes before dishing up.

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