Posts Tagged Pasta

Eggplant Lasagna; Lunchbox

Sorry, no pictures again.  We have a semi-regular tradition of sharing dinner with another family in our building every couple of weeks – it’s a great way to make a complete meal out of the odds & ends of two pantries at the end of the week.  Tonight my contribution was an eggplant lasagna, brought to you by the fact that I had 3 eggplant and a box of lasagna noodles to use up.  Crushed tomatoes in the pantry are a staple, so the only shopping was for the cheese.

I sliced the eggplant medium-thin, salted it and let it sit in the colander for about 20 minutes.  Then I layered it on a plate with some paper towels and microwaved it for 5 minutes (hat-tip to Cook’s Illustrated for the idea).  What this extra step does is suck a TON of the moisture out of the eggplant so it doesn’t make your lasagna watery.

For the sauce, I did a simple base of chopped onion and red pepper, salt, pepper, garlic, Italian herb blend, and a 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes.  I let that simmer while the eggplant drained.

Layered it up with some no-boil noodles and mozzarella cheese, grated parmesan on top, and into a 400 degree oven for 35 minutes.  Gorgeousness. Like an eggplant parmesan but without the hassle of breading and frying.  (Without the oil too, I guess, but I’m pretty sure there was enough extra cheese in the lasagna to wipe out that advantage.)

Lunchbox for Monday: Apple slices with peanut butter (peanut butter on the bottom of the container, apple slices vertical); salami & cheese mini-pita sandwiches; buttered green beans (hey, I can dream, right?)

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Vegetable Chili

This is a staple in our house – unfortunately it looks like the pictures are broken in this old post, but you guys know what chili looks like, right?  It’s chili.

The only major change I made this time around was to use pinto beans instead of kidney beans.  Otherwise, this is the same chili I’ve been making for years, the same chili that my mom made for me as a kid.  Every year around this time, I pull out my fall jacket and long sleeved shirts, and start to crave this chili.

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Miso-hoisin spaghetti with eggplant and green beans

This is a variation on this recipe I found on Serious Eats a few weeks ago and fell head over heels in love with.  The sauce can be used for a dish like this, over pasta, or for a terrific chicken/pork/shrimp marinade.  And since the ingredients are all things that last basically forever in your fridge (miso, hoisin, and chili-garlic sauce), this can be whipped up at the last minute when you realize that it’s the end of the week and your pantry is down to half an eggplant, some green beans, and half a box of spaghetti.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Pasta with tuna and green beans

From Martha Stewart, a nice modern twist on the flavors of a traditional tuna noodle casserole.  No pics tonight – too tired and forgot!

The major changes to this recipe were in the proportions.  Since the original serves one, we more or less tripled it.  (Also for some reason in Martha’s world tuna cans are 3 oz instead of 5.  Weird.)

  • 8 oz (1/2 box) whole wheat fusilli/rotini/etc
  • 1/2 lb green beans, trimmed and halved
  • 2 cans water-packed low-sodium tuna, drained
  • 3 tbsp EVOO
  • 1/2 cup almond slivers, toasted
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

Boil pasta in salted water.  1 minute before the end of cooking, add the green beans.  Drain.

Meanwhile, combine everything else in a bowl.  When the pasta and green beans are done, mix them in.  Season to taste!  Wasn’t that easy?

Dylan gobbled this up, which was nice to see because we’ve been so exhausted lately that he’s been eating a lot of junk food – granola bars instead of actual meals, etc.   So serving him a balanced meal that he actually enjoyed eating was a nice change of pace.

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Seat-of-my-pants Lasagna

I say “oh, no recipe, I made this up” and it sounds impressive, but really, if you know how to make spaghetti sauce from scratch, you also know how to make lasagna.  And since my mother makes the best spaghetti sauce in the known universe, this was pretty much a no-brainer. Read the rest of this entry »

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Spaghetti with Brussels Sprouts and Pine Nuts

Lest you think I’m some kind of health nut, I made this recipe 4 or 5 times before I realized there wasn’t supposed to be pancetta in it.  Oops.  The original recipe from Gourmet is here – below is the way I always make it.

  • 1 lb whole wheat spaghetti or fettucini (I like the nuttiness of whole wheat in this dish, but regular pasta works fine too)
  • 1 lb brussels sprouts, sliced (use the food processor or a mandoline for this)
  • large handful of pine nuts (about 1/2 cup?)
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 3 tbsp cubed pancetta (I like the kind you can buy pre-cubed, but you can also cut the sliced kind into faux-lardons)
  • olive oil, salt, pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions, reserving about 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Heat the olive oil in a large chef’s pan.  Add pancetta, and cook until crispy.  Add onion, pine nuts, and sprouts, saute over med-high heat until starting to brown.   Season to taste.  Add pasta, toss together and add enough of the cooking liquid to moisten everything.

Serve with LOTS of parmesan cheese.

iPhoto issues continue, but Dylan liked this even better than the lasagna.  Maybe because I let him have a “grown-up fork” for twirling.

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Chicken-Spinach-Artichoke-Mushroom Lasagna

This is a catch-up post from Wednesday – it’s been a hectic week.  I can’t tell where this recipe came from based on the card – Cooking Club of America, maybe?  At any rate, I’ve lightened it up considerably here.  The original sauce has 2 cups EACH of whole milk and cream.  First of all, I’m not buying special milk and cream for one dish, and second of all, HOLY COW THAT’S A LOT OF HEAVY CREAM.  So I swapped the 2 cups of cream out for a combination of the liquid I’d normally squeeze out of the frozen spinach and some homemade chicken broth from the freezer.  Don’t worry, though, I made up for it by adding what was probably a lot of extra cheese. Read the rest of this entry »

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Spaghetti Zucchini Pie

Yet another recipe from No Whine With Dinner – I’m on a roll, what can I say.  Actually what happened was we’d originally planned on leftovers tonight, but then I couldn’t schedule the groceries to be delivered tomorrow morning like I wanted (note to self, just reserve the damn timeslot already) so I had to push everything for next week over one day, and then yesterday I was flipping through the book looking for the chicken stew for last night and I saw this recipe and was like “dude, I already have most of these things!” so I decided to add in another meal this week instead of trying to stretch the leftovers an extra day.

Anyway.

  • As with everything, I messed with the proportions and made a few other changes, so what’s below doesn’t match what’s in the book, should anyone be inspired to buy it based on my cooking.  (Ok, in the grand scheme of things I didn’t change all that much.  I doubled the zucchini, made my own pasta sauce, used fresh basil instead of dried.  And probably upped the cheese, though I couldn’t say by how much since I didn’t measure it.) Read the rest of this entry »

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Tuna Noodle Casserole

Ironically, my last post on this dish was almost exactly two years ago. Click for the recipe:

http://kitchen.creepyturtle.net/2009/01/30/tuna-noodle-casserole/

Do not be tempted to gussy up this stuff with anything fancy or homemade – this is strictly a too-tired-and-broke-need-comfort-food kind of dinner.  And it makes great leftovers.

(No pictures tonight on account of I forgot to take any.  But this is one of Dylan’s favorite meals, and he even eats the vegetables.)

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Farfalle with Spicy Pistachios and Smoked Salmon

This is a truly bizarre combination of ingredients that somehow all work together really really well.  The overall effect is a fairly light dish with umami out the wazoo.

dscn3832 Read the rest of this entry »

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