Fresh and Easy Spring Dinner
This is a nice, fresh weeknight dinner we pulled together. The great thing about this pasta sauce is that it works well with a variety of vegetables. The trick to this type of meal is timing. Make the Salad Dressing first as it takes time for the flavors to blend. You can chop all the vegetables before you start cooking, make the salad while the sauce is simmering, and place the Foccacia in the oven when you add the pasta to the water. Cover the pasta while you eat the salad - it will stay warm. The Foccacia goes well with the salad and pasta.
1 head of Romaine Lettuce, washed and cut horizontally
3 ribs Celery, sliced
2 Carrots, peeled and sliced
5 Green Onions, sliced
We served it with Creamy Cracked Pepper dressing, but it would work with any kind you like.
1 Tube Pillsbury Pizza Crust
Sprinkle with: Salt, Italian Herbs, and shredded cheese - we used a 4-cheese Italian blend
Drizzle with Olive Oil
Bake at 400 degrees for 12 - 15 minutes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (keeps it from sticking & makes clean-up easy!). Cut with a pizza cutter into desired number, and size, of pieces. Serve warm.
This recipe works well with all kinds of vegetables and we rarely make it the same way twice. The eggplant is the main foundation.
1 pound of any shape pasta you like - boiled according to directions. For this dish, I used Barilla's Gemelli (which means "twins" in Italian).
In a Dutch oven, saute for about 5 minutes:
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 tsp minced garlic (I use the kind in a jar!)
Stir in:2 medium Eggplant, peeled, diced, and sprinkled with salt (this extracts some of the excess liquid, and reduces any possible bitterness)
Cover and cook until soft, stirring occasionally - about 15 minutes.
4 small Zucchini, sliced
6 medium Tomatoes, diced
2 tsp dried Basil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Continue to cover and cook, stirring occasionally for about another 15 minutes. When adding to pasta, I normally alternate layers of sauce and pasta to make blending easier and more thorough.
I couldn't decide whether to show the pasta with, or without, cheese, so I'm showing you both!