Thursday, 24 January 2013

Gemelli pasta vegetariana al forno

You know what? I eat every day and not just once. Well, there is nothing special about that. Most do. So I really don't need to mention it. However, I don't eat every day the same, not even every week according to some kind of schedule. I know, some do that and the same dishes come reappearing week after week.
That doesn't need to be! Our planet is full of so many lovely ingredients. Those can be combined in various ways. Let's take just 10 ingredients. How many different dishes could you do with them? Let me know!
Now we like to focus on pasta, there is such a great variety. Here now something I came up with today. I didn't even need to do some extra shopping to get it done. It was all there already. Besides that, some things had to be used anyway ...

Lacking another name, I just called it Gemelli pasta vegetariana al forno. 'Gemelli' is the name of the pasta I used. So if you are going to use a different one, it might be called Orecchiette pasta vegetariana al forno. 
'Vegetariana' is obvious to you, I hope. So if you are putting any kind of meat to it, you have to cancel the vegetariana and ending up with Gemelli pasta al forno or Orecchiette pasta respectively. 
Then we have the 'al forno' left referring to the fact that it is baked in the oven. So, finally, if you are too greedy and don't want to send the dish to the oven you end up with 'Gemelli pasta vegetariana' or 'Orecchiette pasta vegetariana' or even with 'Farfalle pasta vegetariana' and if you put in some meat you have 'Gemelli pasta', 'Orecchiette pasta' or 'Farfalle pasta', which in my opinion would sound simply dull and wouldn't do any good.
On the other hand we could mention some more of the vegetarian ingredients, which could then lead us to ... wait ... that got already a bit far, but maybe you can figure out some other names by looking at ...

 ... the ingredients:
Various splashes of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into small pieces
500 g of tinned tomatoes
250 g cannellini beans
Dried oregano
Salt and pepper
Splash of red wine vinegar
500 g dried Gemelli pasta (you might even want to use Fusilli)
50 g grated Parmesan
125 g mozzarella (one ball)

The Preparation:
Heat up the first splash of olive oil in a large pan. Then gently fry the garlic and onion for about 10 minutes. Enjoy the smell of the garlic!
Now add the bell pepper, tomatoes, beans and a bit of water. Bring it to the boil and let it simmer for about 30 minutes.
That gives you plenty of time to cook the pasta. Prepare them according to the directions of the package, but ... reduce 2 minutes from the mentioned time. Give the pasta some love and attention. Who wouldn't like that ... love and attention! 
Reserve a bit of the cooking water of the pasta.
Season the sauce with salt, pepper and dried oregano according to your taste or for those, whom you are cooking for. Show some consideration! 
By the way, you could also start heating up the oven to 200°C.
It's time to turn off the heat for the sauce. Add a splash of red wine vinegar and grate in the Parmesan. You could also add some of the reserved cooking water, if you have the feeling that things are looking too dry.
Then mix it all together with the pasta. You could do that either in the pan or in your dish you are putting into the oven.
Is everything in the oven-proof dish? Good! Tear the mozzarella ball apart and spread the individual pieces on your pasta. Season with some extra dried oregano on top and sprinkle another splash of olive oil over the pasta and mozzarella. Off it goes to the oven for 30 minutes!

After you have plated up the pasta al forno and are ready to eat it, you could sprinkle yet another splash of olive oil over it ... Enjoy your pasta! What do YOU like to call it?

Just looking at this last photo, I get reminded that I wanted to get some nice white plates. I guess it will work out one day ...

... however, before I leave to do something else, I want to put this recipe to a few challenges.
First of all, we go to 'Pasta Please' which is hosted this month by Jacqueline at Tinned Tomatoes. (Remark: No, I didn't use the tinned tomatoes because of this!)

'Pasta' again is obvious and the theme this month is 'Cheese'. Therefore forgoing the 'al forno' would have been a 'no no'.

Next we go to a joined challenge of Fuss free flavour and Fab Food 4 All.

Since I didn't buy any extra food for this recipe and used some ingredients from my pantry that were really due to go, it would be fitting to join Credit Crunch Munch.
I might even survive a few more days with all my stored items ...


  1. This looks very tasty. I decided to do a list of my fave foodie blogs on my blog, and you are among the few chosen. ;)

    1. Thank you very much, Galina! That really makes my day. It feels good after those days of silence.

  2. What a hearty, tasty dish and so frugal too, thank you for entering Credit Crunh Munch!

    1. Thanks, too! I was in such a frugal mode in January and wanted to use up a lot of store items.

    2. can this dish be frozen like a casserole?


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