Baked pasta gets fresh with equal parts noodles and zucchini, but it still has a thick topping of cheesy and garlicky crumbs. This dish freezes well and makes for comforting leftovers.
What You Get
Panko bread crumbs
Grated Parmesan cheese
What You’ll Need
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Chile flakes (optional)
Makes 4 servings
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Set out a square casserole dish (about 8 by 8 inches).
Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and slice crosswise. Slice about ½ cup of the green parts of the green onions, reserving the rest for another use. Chop 2 cloves of garlic. Pick the thyme, toss the stems, and chop about 1 tablespoon of the leaves.
In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the zucchini, season with salt, and sauté until browned and softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add a pinch of chile flakes, if you want some heat, and stir until fragrant, 30 seconds. Transfer to the casserole dish.
Add the cooked pasta, green onions, thyme, and the juice of the lemon to the casserole dish. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine.
Return the frying pan to low heat. Add the cheese sauce and stir until loose and warm, 1 minute. Pour the warm cheese sauce over everything in the casserole dish, and stir to coat.
In a small bowl, stir together half of the panko, the Parmesan, the garlic, and 1 tablespoon olive oil, and season with salt. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the top of the zucchini pasta. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until bubbling and golden, 15 minutes.
Scoop the casserole onto plates, grind with pepper, and serve warm.