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Fresh new ideas while on the Cycle Diet. Gluten Free recipes and substitution suggestions are indicated. Open to the public.
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TOPIC: Rigatoni with Zucchini and Eggplant

Rigatoni with Zucchini and Eggplant 20 Jun 2007 20:13 #4460

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It's SUMMER, and Summer Vegetable time.....I love summer vegetables. It got me thinking about what's in my garden. This year I planted zucchini, summer squash and a variety of tomato plants. I also grow sweet basil, rosemary, chives and cilantro. Looking around for interesting recipes I stumbled upon a very interesting Vegan blog called the

FatFree Vegan Kitchen

by SusanV....don't know what her last name is, but I loved this recipe. I've made notes on where to make gluten-free substitutions in blue.

For a main dish, I chose to update one of my old favorites, Rigatoni with Zucchini and Eggplant. (The photo below is not a good representation of the dish. Though there is a high proportion of vegetables to pasta, there really is more pasta than the photo shows!)

This is a layered pasta dish, similar to lasagna, that doesn't really stay layered when you dish it up. Tofu stands in for ricotta cheese, and the nutritional yeast (available in natural food stores) lends a great cheesy taste. The original recipe used jarred spaghetti sauce, but I wanted a fresher taste, so I used Muir Glen Fire Roasted tomatoes. If you haven't tried these, you must! They have a lovely sweet, smoky taste. You can find them in natural food stores or in the organic/natural section of some supermarkets.

1 large zucchini -- sliced in 1/4" half moons
1/2 medium eggplant -- cubed
1 large onion -- chopped
1 bell pepper -- seeded & chopped
3 cloves garlic -- minced
3 tablespoons water -- (more as needed)
12-14 ounces tofu -- (lowfat) mashed most tofu is gluten-free, but read the label
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 tablespoon dried parsley
2 teaspoons dried basil (divided)
1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (divided)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes -- (optional)
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (obmit if gf)
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1 1/2 teaspoons salt -- (divided)
8 ounces pasta -- rigatoni or other small tubular pasta or Gluten Free Pasta
2 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes (fire roasted, if available)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
soy Parmesan (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Boil pasta according to package directions, cooking until just barely tender (a little undercooked is better than overcooked). When it's done, reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water before draining the pasta.

While the pasta's cooking, sauté the eggplant, zucchini, onions, bell pepper and garlic in 2 tbsp. water in a nonstick pan over medium heat, adding more water if needed to prevent sticking. When the vegetables are tender, add the reserved pasta cooking water, 1 tsp. basil, 1 tsp. oregano, the rosemary, 1 tsp. salt, tomatoes, and tomato sauce; stir, and keep warm.

Combine the mashed tofu with the pine nuts, parsley, nutritional yeast, and remaining basil, oregano, salt, and red pepper flakes. Stir the cooked rigatoni into the tofu.

Lightly coat a 4-quart casserole with vegetable oil spray. Spread a thin layer of the vegetable mixture over the bottom (you just want a little sauce there to keep the pasta from sticking). Place a layer of half the pasta mixture, then cover with half the sautéed vegetables; repeat layers.

Cover the casserole and bake it for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake another 15 minutes. Before serving, sprinkle with soy Parmesan cheese, if you want.

This is a great dish to serve to vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. Unfortunately, if you bring it to the Unitarian church in my town, you won't have any leftovers to bring

home!


Rigatoni with Zucchini and Eggplant 22 Jun 2007 15:04 #4461

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I made this fab dish last night with a couple changes/additions to spice it up:

-Added sliced grilled chicken breast for a non-vegetarian dish instead of the tofu

-Grilled a red and green bell peppers and zucchini  (2 minutes both sides) before adding to the saute'

-Added 1/2 tsp of Wright's smoke flavor (yes it's gluten free)
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