Hi, friends! Hope you’re all having a great week. It wasn’t a long weekend, but it sort of felt like one with some weekday fiesta-ing tacked on. Cinco de Mayo for the win!
Our “long” weekend started with homemade buffalo chicken pizza (uhm, YUM).
And ended with these yummy Ginger Beergaritas and piñata cake (it really had candy in it!).
In between, we headed up to Sequoia National Forest for another day of hiking. We can’t get enough. We ended up hiking about 12 miles on a couple different trails, one of which took us up to Buck Rock Lookout and some amazing views.
Buck Rock used to be used as a lookout for forest fires, since you can see foreverrrrr, and now it’s just a really amazing spot to have lunch. We only saw one group on the entire hike up there, so it was super peaceful and awesome.
It sure is starting to feel like summer here. It got to 95 degrees a few days last week and this weekend! But despite the high temps, it’s only spring. Our farmer’s market started last week and springtime fruits and veggies are in full swing! I wanted to make something to showcase the season’s bounty and this pasta dish did just that. A few of these veggies even came straight from our garden.
Springtime Vegetable Skillet Baked Ziti
(adapted from How Sweet It Is)
- 4 cups al dente cooked penne (cook about 2 minutes shy of time on box)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 small beet, diced
- 8 oz sliced mushrooms (portobello, baby bella, etc)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 oz fresh spinach, chard or other greens
- 1 bunch asparagus spears, ends removed and cut into thirds
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1 1/2 cups lowfat milk
- 3 tbsp parmesan cheese
- Pinch nutmeg
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup ricotta
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Heat oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add onion, beet and mushrooms, cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add garlic and greens, stir, re-cover and cook until the greens wilt down. Add asparagus, stir and re-cover.
Heat butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking constantly, until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes. Whisk in milk and continue whisking constantly until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in Parmesan, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the vegetables in the skillet and remove from heat. Add the pasta and toss everything together. Scoop dollops of ricotta evenly over the skillet, then top with mozzarella.
Bake 15-20 minutes, until cheese is melted.
The flavors in this pasta were amazing. And even though this is super comfort food, I loved knowing that it was full of fresh veggies. You could easily add chicken if you wanted some meat, but even Nick agreed it didn’t need it!! This is probably one of my new favorites. Enjoy!