Welcome to part III of my Vegetarian Dinner Party menu!
Oma and Opa, while they do eat meat, also favor meatless dishes, and I knew they love a variety of vegetables. To make the day’s planning and cooking easier on myself, I found a delicious, veggie-filled pasta bake, that incorporates three types of cheeses! My kind of meal 🙂 This has also resulted in a fair amount of leftovers, which have served as lunches this week. Perfect!
Also, confession: I LOVE bowtie pasta, which this uses. I always thought that a food which shares the shape of an accessory is pretty awesome. Bowties are cool, after all.
It’s a pretty simple dish, that only requires boiling, chopping, mixing and baking. Great for a weeknight family meal, or for entertaining guests. And it’s so versatile! Throw in the veggies that YOU like – it’ll only enhance the dish.
- 12 oz farfalle (bowtie) pasta
- 1 steamer bag broccoli florets, (or use fresh)
- 3 large ripe tomatoes
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, very finely minced
- 115-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 3/4 C chopped basil leaves, divided
- 1 ball fresh mozzarella, divided
- 3 eggs
- 1 C part skim cottage cheese
- juice of 1 lemon (or use 2 tbsp bottled lemon juice)
- 3/4 C Parmesan cheese, divided
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
Preheat oven to 375°F and grease a 9×13-inch casserole dish with PAM. (If you’re preparing this ahead of time like I did, don’t preheat until you’re ready to put in the oven.)
Bring a LARGE pot of water to boil (use the largest pot in the house!) Cook the pasta for 11 minutes or until barely al dente. Drain and return to the pot.
Steam the broccoli in the microwave until tender. Drain and chop into bite-sized florets. Toss with the cooked pasta. Chop two of the tomatoes into rough pieces, and add them to the pasta. Stir in the diced onion and minced garlic, along with the drained chickpeas, and 1/2 cup of the chopped basil. Chop 2/3 of the mozzarella into small pieces and stir into the pasta. At this point, if your pot is getting too full, divide the contents in half and use a large bowl.
Whisk eggs with the cottage cheese and lemon juice. Stir in 1/2 cup of Parmesan. Stir this into the pasta mixture until well combined. Stir in the salt and pepper. If it still looks very dry, add another whisked egg and 1/2 C cottage cheese.
Spread the pasta in the prepared baking dish (you may need a second, smaller dish, like I did – yay leftovers!) Slice the remaining tomato and arrange on top of the pasta. Chop the rest of the mozzarella into bits and scatter between the rows of tomato slices. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup chopped basil on top.
Bake uncovered for 35 minutes or until the cheese on top has melted and the casserole is bubbling. Let stand for a few more minutes before serving.