Baked Ziti with Summer Squash

Makes 4 to 6 servings. Recipe is by Teresa B. Day.

2 small yellow squash

2 small zucchini

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 teaspoons salt, divided

1 teaspoon black pepper, divided

1 pound Italian sausage

1 small onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup tomato sauce, homemade (recipe below) or purchased

4 cups mozzarella cheese, divided

8 ounces cooked pasta

2 cups sour cream

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

1. Heat oven to 425 F. Cut squash and zucchini into half-moons about ½ inch thick.

2. Toss squash in 1 tablespoon olive oil with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.

3. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until slightly browned.

4. Brown sausage in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Drain.

5. Sauté onion and garlic in remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat until tender.

6. Return the drained sausage to the pot with the onions. Stir in tomato sauce and bring to a simmer.

7. Stir in 1 cup mozzarella cheese until melted. Remove from heat. Stir in cooked pasta and squash.

8. In a separate bowl, stir together sour cream, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper and Italian seasoning.

9. In a greased casserole dish, layer half the pasta and sausage mixture then half the sour cream mixture. Repeat with second half of meat and sour cream mixtures. Top with remaining 2 cups cheese.

10. Bake at 350 F about 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.


Roasted Tomato Sauce

Makes 4 to 6 cups of sauce. Recipe is by Teresa B. Day.

⅓ cup olive oil + 2 tablespoons

6 to 8 large ripe tomatoes

⅓ cup garlic cloves

½ cup basil leaves, whole

2 tablespoons Tuscan Seasoning*

Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 275 F. Coat the bottom of a rimmed baking sheet or baking pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

2. Slice the tomatoes in half. Place each half, cut side down, in the pan. Sprinkle garlic cloves throughout. Drizzle with ⅓ cup olive oil. Season with Tuscan seasoning, sea salt and cracked black pepper.

3. Place fresh basil leaves on top.

4. Bake uncovered for 4 to 5 hours.

5. Pulse tomatoes, garlic and basil in a food processor until it forms a slightly chunky puree. Strain through a sieve until the sauce is smooth.

6. Pour into 1- or 2-cup sized freezer containers. Take a container of sauce out and use it for pastas or pizzas.

*Cook’s note: I used Red Stick Spice Company’s Garlic Olive Oil & Tuscan Seasoning.