Roasted Vegetable Pasticcio
(recipe, Audrey Alsterberg & Wanda Urbanowicz)
Jumble up a mess of roasted vegetables, pasta, cheese, and fresh herbs, bake it with a crispy crust, and you get pasticcio. This is an "everything but the kitchen sink" kind of dish, yet delicious and impressive nevertheless. Substitue feta with other favorite cheeses, or try different vegetable combinations. Serve with a spinach salad and dinner is all set. Leftovers are great too.
- 20 oz. dry rigatoni pasta
- 1 medium red onion
- 1 medium eggplant
- 2 yellow or red peppers
- 2 small zucchini
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. cracked pepper
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 Tbsp. chopped oregano, basil, or mint
- ½ bunch Italian parsley, chopped
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 Tbsp. capers
- 3 cups grated mozzarella
- 1½ cups crumbled feta cheese
- 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
- Cook pasta in plenty of salted, boiling water until al dente. Drain and toss with a light coat of olive oil. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Chop red onion, eggplant, and peppers into ½-inch square pieces. Cut zucchini into ½-inch thick half-moon slices. In a large bowl, toss vegetables with olive oil, salt, pepper, and minced garlic. Spread them out on two lightly oiled baking trays and roast until vegetables are soft and golden (about 15 minutes). Remove the vegetables and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, toss together the cooked pasta, roasted vegetables, lemon zest, capers, 2 cups mozzarella, feta cheese and all but 2 tablespoons of the chopped herbs. Spoon the entire mixture into an oiled 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish.
- Make the topping by combining fresh breadcrumbs with the remaining cup of grated cheese, reserved chopped herbs, a drizzle of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and spread over the casserole. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees until bubbly and golden on top, about 40 minutes. Serve hot.