Mini Baked ZucchinI and Mozzarella Rigatoni

This is recipe #2 in the #TABASCO10 third annual 10 Ingredient Challenge - creating 5 different recipes in 5 days with the following 10 ingredients: TABASCO® Original RedGreen Jalapeño or Chipotle Sauce , Chicken, Eggs, Mozzarella, Fennel Bulb, Zucchini , Rice (Brown, Basmati, Jasmine or Wild), Rigatoni, Ciabatta, and Honey (Salt, pepper, oil are 'free' ingredients).

If you know me, then you know that I LOVE PASTA. So it should be no surprise that I chose to make my second recipe pasta based. I usually cook with spaghetti, fettuccine, or penne, because I am a creature of habit. A few months ago my local grocery store had this crazy sale on dry pasta ($1 per box), so naturally, I bought as much as my cupboards could hold. This means that I have all sorts of dried pasta that I never use - the tiny bow ties, the elbow macaroni, the ones the look like honeycombs. I'm pretty excited that I actually have a chance to use one of the 7 boxes of rigatoni I have stored in the cupboard because I am seriously running out of room in there.

Usually, if I'm making a casserole or a pasta dish, I'll make it in tiny ramekins, so that Brent and I can reheat them for leftovers. It is so much easier to store small ramekins in the fridge versus a giant casserole dish. By using ramekins, it also avoids the chance for an unnecessary argument like - who forgot to completely cover the casserole with Saran wrap? or who is going to wash this crusty casserole dish?

For this recipe, I decided to fry some chopped zucchini in oil. I then added some cooked rigatoni pasta, salt, pepper, and a generous serving of TABASCO green jalapeno sauce. I mixed in some grated mozzarella and baked until the cheese was nice and melted. I then turned the oven to broil to get a nice crispy top. It's just a shame that I only made four because these were seriously tasty.

Be sure to stop by tomorrow to check out recipe #3, and if you want to check out what other bloggers have created during the challenge, you can follow the hashtag #TABASCO10.

Thanks to the folks over at TABASCO for sponsoring this post.



serves 4

prep time: 5 minutes

cooking time: 20 minutes

8 oz (2 1/2 cups) dry rigatoni

2 tbsp olive oil

2 small zucchini, chopped

2 tbsp

TABASCO Green Jalapeño

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

7 oz grated mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Heat a large pot of water to boil. Once boiling, add the rigatoni noodles and cook until al dente.

Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large frying pan set to medium. Add the chopped zucchini and fry until golden.

Drain the pasta and add it to the frying pan with the zucchini. Stir in 1 tbsp olive oil, the Tabasco sauce, salt, pepper, and 3/4 of the cheese.

Scoop the pasta into 4 - 4" ramekins. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Place the ramekins onto a baking sheet. Place into the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to broil, and broil until the cheese is brown and bubbly - 3 minutes.