Every so often, I flip through my cookbooks to see what I can prepare that I normally wouldn’t prepare. I’m sure you’ve done this too. Some recipes are obvious. You say, “Yup, that’s going to be the first one I make.” The photo is clear and the recipe is simple. It’s a no-brainer. Others, however, take more time to process. Perhaps there are a few ingredients we don’t really use that much or maybe there’s no photo. Maybe it even looks like it won’t taste good. I’m sure there’s some place where all the unused recipes of this world end up. It’s a lonely place, for sure.
I’ll be honest with you when I say that I had no idea how this recipe would end up. It looks like a pile of vegetables and none of the ingredients jumped out at me in any special way. It’s not that I had anything against any of them, it’s just that I didn’t know how they’d interact with one another. Well, as it ends up, I was very happy with this dish. I really wouldn’t be sharing it here if I wasn’t. This casserole ended up looking much better than I thought it would, which was good because I have to take photos of these things for this website. It also tasted very good and had a variety of pleasant textures. If I had to say which ingredients were my favorite, I’d say the mushrooms, mozzarella cheese and cabbage. Actually, there were many very tasty ingredients and everything worked together nicely. It’s a medley, if you will. And it’s a filling and enjoyable one at that. Like the title says, it’s “rustic” and it’s a belly filler.
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
5 Red Potatoes, Quartered
2 Cups Dried Spiral Pasta
2 1/2 Cups Savoy Cabbage, Sliced Thin
1 Large Onion, Chopped
2 Leeks, Chopped
2 Teaspoons Garlic, Minced
2 1/2 Cups Mushrooms, Halved
1 Teaspoons Caraway Seeds
1 Teaspoon Dried Cumin
2/3 Cup Vegetable Broth
5 Ounces Mozzarella Cheese, Cubed
1/4 Cup Walnuts, Crushed
Ground Black Pepper
I’d like to thank Valerie Ferguson for her resource called Vegetarian. I pulled this recipe from that cookbook and it’s a very worthwhile recipe to prepare.
Pre-Heat the Oven
Arrange your oven racks so one is in the center position and then pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Soften the Potatoes
Bring 12 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Add three teaspoons of salt to the water. Then, add in the potatoes and let them boil for ten minutes or until they’re tender. Once they are, use a slotted spoon to remove them from the water. Don’t empty the water. Place the potatoes in a bowl and set them aside.
Cook Pasta & Cabbage
In the same water that’s still boiling, add the pasta. Let this cook for nine minutes and then for the final minute, add in the cabbage. After that minute, strain the contents of the pot through a colander in your sink. Then, rinse these ingredients under cold water so they stop cooking.
Fry the Onion, Leeks & Mushroom
Warm a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the olive oil and the onion and leeks. Stir and let these cook for about five minutes. Then, add in the garlic and mushrooms and cook for five more minutes. Then add in the caraway seeds and the cumin, stir and cook for one more minute.
Add Potatoes, Pasta & Cabbage
Add the potatoes, pasta and cabbage to the skillet and mix everything together. Season with salt and pepper.
Add Ingredients to Casserole
Transfer the ingredients from the skillet into a 9×13″ casserole dish. Then, pour the broth over everything and then sprinkle the walnuts over the top as well. Finally, arrange the mozzarella cheese over everything.
Bake the Casserole
Place the dish into your oven on the center rack. Let things cook for 15 minutes. When the cheese has melted, remove the casserole and turn off the heat.
Plate & Serve
Divide the contents of the casserole between plates and serve. Season again with salt and pepper if you wish and enjoy!
The Final Vegetable Casserole
As I wrote this post, I think I learned to love this dish. It’s very autumn feeling and it’s also very Maine feeling. It’s actually very well put together, so I encourage you to give it a try. As you can see, there’s nothing too challenging about this and I’m sure you can swap ingredients out for what you have available to you. Perhaps change up the type of cabbage and the cheese. I’m sure there’s more. Get creative. Anyway, if you do decide to try this one out, please let me know your thoughts in the comment area down below. Thanks for reading!