Pasta Riballeta

1 pound zucchini, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 green peppers, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 eggplant, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups mushrooms, quartered
2 medium onions, sliced
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
2 teaspoons basil
2 teaspoons oregano
1/4 cup tomato paste
28 ounces plum tomatoes, crushed by hand, no juice
2 teaspoons sugar
4 cups ziti/penne pasta
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
1/3 cup reserved pasta cooking water
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil and cook zucchini, peppers, eggplant, mushrooms, onions, garlic, basil and oregano. Cook until eggplant is softened. Stir in tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, sugar, salt and pepper.

Cook pasta al dente, reserve 1/3 cup of cooking water. Drain pasta well. Stir reserved water into vegetable mixture. Stir in pasta and half the cheese.

Transfer to casserole dish, sprinkle with remaining cheese, cover with foil and bake at 350 F for 30 minutes or until bubbling. Uncover and broil until golden.

Makes 6 servings.

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