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Swap Shop: Baked pasta dishes sure to please


Tomato Florentine

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Updated: March 9, 2012 8:02AM

Pasta’s popularity never seems to wane.

This week, pasta is the star in two baked dishes, Tomato Florentine Pasta Bake from McCormick Spices for K.L. of Carol Stream and Eggplant Zucchini Bolognese from Marlene Kroll of Chicago for T.J.H. of Wheaton. Whole wheat or vegetable-enriched pasta can be used in either dish, if desired.

Also on tap: a tried-and-true hot fruit compote from Carole Novak of Indian Head Park in answer to a request for S.W. of Chicago. Novak’s Fruit Compote Supreme, which she prepares every Christmas morning for her husband, is a novel winter breakfast or dessert (with or without optional Amaretto).

To make Eggplant Zucchini Bolognese: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cook one (16-ounce) package of penne pasta, according to package directions. In large bowl, combine 1 small eggplant (peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces), 1 medium zucchini (cut into ¼-inch slices), 1 medium yellow summer squash (cut into ¼-inch slices), 1 cup chopped onion, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons minced garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Transfer to two 15x10x1-inch baking pans coated with cooking spray. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender.

Meanwhile, in large skillet, cook 1 pound lean ground beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in 28-ounce can tomato puree, 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning and 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Drain pasta; add tomato mixture and roasted vegetables to pasta; gently mix. Sprinkle with cheese and serve immediately. Makes 8 servings.


I’m searching for a recipe for made-from-scratch babka filled with cinnamon-sugar gooiness.

T.K., Aurora

Can a reader share a recipe for Boston cream pie?

N.A.T., Chicago

I used to have a recipe from the ’60s for a casserole made with mashed potatoes, sauerkraut and sausage, but I’ve lost it and I’m unable to effectively duplicate it. Help!

G.W., Chicago

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