Super Easy Veggie Pasta Pot

>> Monday, August 31, 2015

I’ve pulled the slow cooker out of its summer hiding spot deep in our pantry. Yes. Even though this week wouldn’t have you believe it with crazy high temps -- it’s almost fall. Back-to-school. Busy season. And I can always use help in the kitchen.

Thing is, I’m tired of all my go-to crock pot recipes. Time to try something new. Will you join me? I’m on a quest to breathe life back into our dinners all while putting forth little effort. Like I wrote on Thursday’s post, I made this recipe after seeing the Summer Slow Cooker Lasagna recipe on Oh My Veggies with only a few modifications.



What you’ll need . . . 

  • 1 medium onion 
  • 1 large zucchini or summer squash
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1 medium head of broccoli
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • Large bell pepper
  • Couple cloves garlic
  • Linguine or other pasta noodles, uncooked*
  • Jar (24 ounces) of pasta sauce (homemade is easy + delish)
  • Shredded mozzarella (I used fresh)
  • Parmesan 

Try to get as many of these ingredients from your garden or friends’ gardens as possible. Don’t necessarily stick to this list exactly -- keep it flexible. Use whatever is fresh and in your kitchen already. Just be sure to substitute ingredients in similar amounts so it’ll all fit in the pot.

* I used spinach linguine. I don’t know this for sure, but I don’t think cappellini would work best in this recipe. it might get too mushy. Prove me wrong!

Method . . . 

  1. Chop all ingredients into chunks. Halve cherry tomatoes. Mince garlic. Then on your stovetop, heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil and cook the garlic and onions over medium heat until the onions have softened.
  2. Add the rest of the veggies -- saving the tomatoes until last -- and cook until everything is slightly softened but still somewhat crunchy. Season with some salt + pepper to taste.
  3. In your crock pot, pour around a half cup of sauce at the bottom. Then layer on some pasta.
  4. OK. So, I didn’t measure my pasta layers exactly. Take a small handful of pasta, crack it in half, and make a thin layer. Too much? Take some out. Too little? Add. It’s not about being exact. Check out my photo for reference.
  5. Cover the pasta with about a third of the veggies you cooked. Then top that with another 1/2 cup pasta sauce and then a 1/3 cup (or so) of mozzarella.
  6. Repeat this layering until you run out of space or ingredients. Just make sure you top everything off with tomato sauce, cheese, and then the Parmesan. 
  7. Cook on LOW for three to four hours. We had to go out on an errand partway through cooking, and I don’t feel comfortable leaving the pot on since it’s kind of old. Anyway, I stopped cooking mine for an hour at the two hour mark and resumed later. Turned out great!
  8. Then let sit for half an hour to cool slightly and scoop out heaping servings. I didn’t get a photo of the end result. Just picture a bowl of steaming veggies, noodles, cheese, and sauce.

This is such a great way to get tons of veggies into your tummy. If you’re vegan, feel free to leave out the cheese, use your favorite substitute, or sprinkle some nutritional yeast in the pot. The leftovers are even better. We saved some in our freezer for a rainy day. Ada even asked for a second helping!

So, one recipe down. What should I try next?

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