I submit that there is no such thing! Guess how many tomato plants we have in our garden...and scattered all around our house wherever we could find a sunny (and in some cases, not so sunny) spot in the ground for them! Guess!
49. Forty-niners. Sure, that's a totally reasonable number if you're talking about an acre or two of land, but we live in suburbia and have only a fraction of an acre on which to work. We may be up to our noses in garden goodies in a few months (I hope!), so if you notice that I've become MIA in July and August, I'm probably drowning in tomatoes and you should send help immediately. Seriously though, we love tomatoes and would be elated to see all of these plants bear fruit, even if it means dedicating one of the rooms in our house to cans and cans (and more cans) of stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, pasta sauce, and salsa.
Tuttorosso Tomatoes recently teamed up with Ali Maffucci, the author of Inspiralized: Turn Vegetables into Healthy, Creative, Satisfying Meals*to create some light and delicious Italian-inspired dishes. This dish you see before you might not be so light, but it is delicious, and it's a great use for that jar of pasta sauce beckoning you from your
*Who has two thumbs, lots of veggies, and really wants a spiralizer? This girl! It's definitely the latest craze, and I, for one, get filled with envy when I see all the fun zoodle creations and curly sweet potato fries that my fellow bloggers are spiralizing. So much fun! Even though I haven't been a kid for a year or 20, I can still appreciate new and exciting ways to incorporate more vegetables in the diet.
I think it's well established that pasta, cheese, and meaty tomato sauce can combine in just about any manner and be hearty, filling, comforting, and delicious, and this particular dish is a fine representation of those qualities. It's quick and easy to make, freezes beautifully (and therefore makes a great option to take to a new mom or anyone else in need of ready-to-go dinners), and leaves you feeling satisfied and happy. I used Tuttorosso pasta sauce for this recipe, and while it's a fabulous option, I hope to be using our tomatoes (nourished with our very own sweat) this time next year!
Baked Spaghetti with Squash (not to be confused with Baked Spaghetti Squash)
- 8 ounces uncooked thin spaghetti
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound ground beef or turkey
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 medium zucchini, sliced or shredded (or spiralized, if you're lucky enough to own a Spiralizer®)
- 1 (24 ounce) jar Tuttorosso traditional pasta sauce
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13x9-inch casserole dish with nonstick spray. Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
Stir in the pasta sauce and water. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes or so while you make the pasta.
Add the pasta to boiling water and cook, uncovered, at a rolling boil, for 5 to 6 minutes, al dente. Note that the pasta will continue to cook and absorb some of the sauce when it is in the casserole dish in the oven, so the pasta should be al dente. When ready, drain the pasta and rinse in cold water.
Place the cooled pasta in a large bowl. Beat together the egg, milk, and salt and add it to the egg mixture and toss to coat.
Spread 1 cup of the sauce over the bottom of the casserole dish, then place half of the pasta in an even layer on top of that.
Cover with half of the remaining sauce, then dot the sauce with all of the cottage cheese.
Sprinkle half of the mozzarella over the cottage cheese layer, then layer again with the remaining pasta, the remaining sauce, and the remaining mozzarella.
Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 5-10 minutes uncovered. Remove from oven and let rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.