Vegetable bake with thick pasta tubes

Vegetable bake with thick pasta tubes

Pasticcio di ziti e verdure

By
From
Pasta
Serves
4-6
Photographer
Laura Edwards

‘Ti sei messo in un bel pasticcio’ is what they say in Italy when you get yourself in a mess, and I would obviously prefer to eat a pasticcio than be in one! This particular dish is made with a pasta much loved by Neapolitans. Ziti are hollow tubes of pasta, 1cm in diameter, and ranging from 10–40cm in length. The short one is the main actor in this dish which, unusually, instead of sauce, has juicy chunks of vegetables.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
400g dried short ziti pasta
salt and pepper, to taste

Filling

Quantity Ingredient
400g yellow and red bell peppers, deseeded and cut into strips
olive oil, for frying
3 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
400g aubergine, cut into thick slices and cubed
300g courgettes, cut into 1cm slices
2 large onions, peeled and cut into thick slices
a little freshly grated nutmeg
500g buffalo mozzarella cheese, sliced and cubed
150g parmesan, freshly grated

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. First cut the peppers in half and deseed them, then cut into strips. Fry these strips in 1 tbsp olive oil until the edges are blackening. At this point add the garlic and fry for a few more minutes. Add some salt to taste then the white wine vinegar, and set aside.
  3. Now cut the aubergine first into thick slices and then into cubes. Put these in water so they don’t absorb too much oil later, about 10 minutes. Drain, and fry the cubes in 2 tbsp olive oil until soft and caramelising, about 10 minutes. Cut the courgettes in 1cm slices and fry in 2 tsp olive oil until brown on both sides. Cut the onions in thick slices and fry in 6 tbsp olive oil until browned on both sides, about 10 minutes. Put the vegetables and their oils, plus the nutmeg, into a suitable ovenproof dish. Cut the mozzarella in slices and then into cubes.
  4. Cook the ziti in plenty of boiling salted water for 8–10 minutes or until al dente. Drain and mix together with the vegetables and their oils. Intersperse with the mozzarella and most of the Parmesan, which should melt with the heat of the pasta and season to taste with salt and pepper. Finish with a sprinkle of the remaining Parmesan.
  5. Put into the preheated oven and bake for about 20 minutes. Serve hot.
Tags:
Antonio
Carluccio
pasta
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