Mexican Style Baked Fennel and Zucchini

    55 minutes

    Comfort food at its finest! Zucchini, fennel, capsicum, red kidney beans and artichoke hearts baked in tomato sauce with a cheese topping. Serve with tortillas.

    8 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 1 red onion
    • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
    • 1 large red or yellow capsicum, deseeded and cut into chunks
    • 1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
    • 1 large zucchini, thickly sliced
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 340g jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1 teaspoon paprika or mild chilli powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
    • 400g tin red kidney or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
    • 3/4 cup (200g) ricotta cheese, drained
    • 1/2 cup (125ml) low-fat milk
    • 3/4 cup (85g) grated mature cheddar cheese
    • 2 tablespoons dried wholemeal breadcrumbs

    Preparation:15min  ›  Cook:40min  ›  Ready in:55min 

    1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Halve the onion lengthways, then cut into thin wedges. Place in a large plastic bag with the garlic, capsicum chunks, fennel or celery, zucchini slices and oil. Toss together well, then tip out into a shallow ovenproof dish. Alternatively, you can mix everything together in a large bowl before tipping into the ovenproof dish.
    2. Add the artichoke hearts to the vegetables, being careful not to break them up too much, then season with freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle the oregano, paprika or chilli, and cumin over the vegetables, then transfer to the oven and roast for 15 minutes.
    3. Stir in the tomatoes with their juice, and the drained beans. Return the vegetables to the oven to bake for a further 10 minutes.
    4. Meanwhile, stir the ricotta with the milk, to thin it to a thick cream. Drizzle the cheesy sauce over the vegetables. Mix the grated cheese and breadcrumbs together and scatter on top. Return to the oven to bake for a further 15 minutes until golden and bubbling.

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    A great meal we all enjoyed. I found the cheese topping ran through the veggies as I used supermarket ricotta which is quite runny: next time I'll buy my ricotta from the deli.  -  24 Aug 2009