I’m going back to work today.
Like, real work. The kind where you have to pack a lunch and get dressed in professional clothes and stop playing with your phone and set your alarm in the morning so that you get there in time. <— pout.
But I won’t even pretend to complain for more than 2 seconds because I love my real job. I consider blogging my hobby job. It can be done in my pajamas at 3pm and lets me be around food all the time. It’s also a lot fun, semi-creative, and a tiny bit entrepreneurial. And teaching is my real job, my meaningful job, my feel-good job.
Stop it right now. You know I love food and blogging and this little POY internet space. I do feel good about sharing recipe ideas for the most yummy yum yum food together.
But it’s not in the same way that I feel good about fostering a community of 25 youngsters with unique social, emotional, and academic needs, and somehow managing to teach them how to read, compute, and actually think all at the same time. And now I’m already tired and I haven’t even started yet.
Which leads us nicely to this.
This is what I chose to do with the world’s largest zucchini that was gifted to me by Sally from The Cabin Garden. Ugh, you guys. This thing was a monster/still is a monster, now existing in its varied forms in my refrigerator. I am plagued with ideas for zucchini everything and I love it.
I shredded some for some baking, I chopped some for pastas, I sliced some of it for this dish, and that took care of about one twentieth of it. Look out Brad. This is is the zucchini apocalypse.
I’m sure I’m not the only one with hunks of zucchini sitting in my fridge. Am I right or am I right?
Here’s my vote for what you should spend your next 30 minutes doing: Coating zucchini with seasoned bread crumbs (whole wheat if you’re feeling inspired), baking them, and arranging them over some saucy noodles, and broiling the whole ditty with cheese and herbs. And devouring after your long day of work. You and I both.
And can we ask ourselves why we ever wanted Eggplant Parmesan in the first place when such a veggie as Zucchini Parmesan exists in our end-of-summer produce collections? Honestly, eggplant? We are strange creatures.
Let’s talk health. From the Pinch of Yum nutrition perspective, this is gr8.
You can check out the basic stats below, but we’re working with lots of veggies here, especially if you make your own sauce. And I am going to say something controversial: you COULD make it without the pasta. I mean, don’t, especially if you are starving after work like I’m about to be starting today, but I did it without pasta on the day I went to the state fair because I was trying to keep lunch a little lighter. Balance, yo. I just ate a plateful of those baked zucchini rounds smothered in all the toppings and it made me soso happy.
Crispy-crunchy baked zucchini, saucy tomatoes, and fresh herbs. This is late summer garden goods working their magic.
This recipe for Baked Zucchini Parmesan is made with fresh zucchini and tomatoes broiled with herbs and cheese over pasta. YUMMM.
- 10-20 slices zucchini (enough to cover the top of a 9×13 pan)
- 3/4 cup seasoned whole wheat breadcrumbs
- 5 egg whites
- 1 lb. penne pasta
- 3 cups tomato sauce (see notes for how I made mine)
- 3/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese
- parsley for topping
- Cut the zucchini into 1/2 inch thick slices. Put the egg whites and breadcrumbs in separate bowls. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Dip the zucchini pieces into the egg white and the cover with the breadcrumbs. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, carefully flipping once towards the end. Remove from the oven when browned and firm.
- While the zucchini are baking, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and mix together with 2 cups sauce and 1/2 cup cheese. Pour into a greased 9×13 baking dish.
- Arrange the baked zucchini pieces over the top, cover with remaining 1 cup sauce and 1/4 cup cheese. Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is melting and everything is hot and bubbling. Sprinkle with parsley.
For a quick sauce: Saute 5 cloves garlic in a little olive oil. Crush 5 Roma tomatoes and half of a can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes in a food processor (I just happened to have some left over so I added it in the mix). Transfer tomato mixture to the garlic pan. Add 1 cup regular tomato sauce and a few tablespoons fresh basil. Season with a pinch of sugar and a few pinches of salt. Simmer – the longer the better. Drain out excess water with a wire sieve.