Baked Pasta Primavera
1 eggplant, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 zucchini, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
1 12 oz bag Della Terra pasta, such as campanelle or fusilli
1/2 lb Greer's Ranch House Bacon
1 Onion, chopped
4 T Hiland Butter
1/3 cup Shawnee Mills All Purpose Flour
1 qt Hiland Milk
16 oz ricotta cheese
3 T Lovera's Garlic and Basil Pesto
1 cup Lovera's Caciocavera cheese, shredded
1 ball fresh mozzarella, sliced
Step 1Place eggplant and zucchini on a sheet pan, and sprinkle both sides with kosher salt. Let sit for about 30 minutes. Shake off excess water.
Step 2Place eggplant, zucchini and asparagus on a large sheet pan. (You may need to use two pans if your vegetables are too crowded.) Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Bake in a preheated 425-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, turning halfway through.
Step 3Fry bacon over medium heat in a saute' pan. Once crisp, remove bacon and set aside. Reserve 1 tablespoon bacon drippings, and discard the remaining drippings.
Step 4Cook chopped onion in bacon drippings. Set onions aside.
Step 5In same pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour, stirring until lightly brown. Gradually add milk, one cup at a time, whisking or stirring until bubbly and thickened. Remove from heat.
Step 6Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, then drizzle with olive oil.
Step 7In a small bowl, combine ricotta cheese, pesto and ½ cup caciocavera cheese. Add cooked onions and crumbled bacon, and stir.
Step 8In a 9-by-13-inch pan, pour a small amount of white sauce into bottom of pan. Layer with half of pasta, then half of vegetables, then half of ricotta mixture, then half of white sauce. Place half the slices of mozzarella over white sauce. Layer again with pasta, vegetables, ricotta and white sauce, ending with slices of mozzarella. Sprinkle with remaining ½ cup caciocavera cheese.
Step 9Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.
Main Ingredient: Casseroles