Pasta Bake - a sunny meat-free dinner
Pasta, egg & cheese bake - meat-free dinner recipe
We call this our 'sunny supper dish' because of its lovely bright colors.
It's very easy to make and combines some of our very favorite foods - cheese, eggs and pasta - to make a delicious dinner in no time.
It takes only a few minutes to assemble this dish and then I can leave it in the oven for about ten or fifteen minutes while I enjoy a pre-dinner glass of wine.
I like to make dishes that use items that I normally have in stock. One of the reasons for this is that when I ran a health food store, I was often being asked by customers 'what do vegetarians eat?' In most cases, this was because a young son or daughter had suddenly announced that they intended to eat a meat-free diet. I spent a lot of time explaining to these moms that veggies (especially those who still eat eggs and dairy products) don't need any special ingredients other than those everyone has to hand.
They were relieved to know this, and also to find out that they didn't have to spend money on 'special' foods.
Simple, everyday ingredients
To serve two people
- 2 fresh eggs
- 6 oz. pasta
- 1 tomato
- 2 - 3 scallions | spring onions
- 2 oz. cheese
- Black pepper
- Fresh oregano leaves
OVEN & PAN
Preheat the oven to 425°. Place a large pan on the hob three quarters filled with water. When the water is boiling, add the pasta. If you use salt in cooking (I don't) then season accordingly. By the way, I have found that it's a fallacy that pouring a little olive oil into a pan of cooking pasta prevents the pasta from sticking. If you keep the water at a rolling boil, there won't be a sticking problem. Cook the pasta until al dente.
Do you have a new vegetarian in the family? Get plenty of inspiration from the excellent cookbook that concentrates on good, plain but fresh and healthy ingredients. Even old timer veggies like me can find some great ideas in this book.
Using scissors, snip the onions into a small bowl.
Chop the tomato and add this to the bowl also. Sprinkle with freshly-ground black pepper.
When the pasta is cooked - but still has plenty of bite - drain in a sieve. Remove the pan from the heat. Rinse the pasta under running hot water to remove any starches. (Note: I don't do this if I'm adding a sauce because the starch will help to thicken the sauce itself). Decant the cooked pasta back into the pan an mix in the tomato / onion / peppers. The heat that remains in the pan will warm them through - there's no need to cook them.
Separate the eggs putting the white in one bowl and the lovely yellow yolks in another. The best way to do this is with an egg separator but if you're careful. you can do this by hand but breaking the egg over the large bowl and transferring the contents from on half-shell to the other. The yolks will remain in the shell and the white will fall into the bowl. Be sure to give the eggs a thorough wipe with a cloth first! Using a hand whisk or electric mixer, beat the whites until they are fluffy. Mix the yolks in the small bowl.
ASSEMBLE THE DISH
Place the pasta and vegetables in an ovenproof dish. Fold the egg yolks into the whipped whites and pour the mixture over the pasta. Bake for about ten minutes until the egg is becoming set. Remove the dish from the oven and add the grated cheese. Return it to the oven until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown.
Serve your sunshine on a plate with green salad leaves and enjoy!
Being vegetarian can be very complicated indeed.
Veggies range from people like me who don't eat meat but will occasionally eat fish or someone like my other half who would touch meat or fish but is fine with eggs and cheese, though to vegans who won't touch anything that involves and animal in any way, shape or form. Animal by products can find their way into the most innocent-seeming foods too.
It depends on your reasons for not eating meat. It may be that you, like me, object to the way the meat industry wastes the planet's resources.
Animal welfare might be your concern. It could be simply that you're looking for a healthier lifestyle. Or it may be a combination of several factors.
This book will help you make sense of this confusing - but important - issue.
More delicious pastar ecipes
- Pear & blue cheese pasta - vegetarian recipe
Here's a delicious and easy meat-free meal that you can create in just a few minutes. The unusual flavours combine beautifully. Read the recipe and see step by step photographs.
- Pasta Alfredo recipe - light version
Ten minutes, six ingredients ... that all you need to make this delicious version of Pasta Alfredo that is lighter and healthier than the traditional recipe. But it's creamy and full of flavour.
- Pasta with Creamy Mushrooms
Inexpensive, quick and easy, this delicious pasta dish makes an excellent meat free dinner. It's so easy to make that it's often on our menu. Guests love it too.
© 2013 Jackie Jackson