Monday, September 24, 2012

Tomato and Zucchini Frittata

{Meatless Monday}

Hello! Here's a REALLY quick recipe that was made with the leftovers from our Tomato and Zucchini Linguine.

One of my favorite things to do with leftover PLAIN pasta is to make a frittata.  So when I had leftover spaghetti noodles AND leftover from the Linguine with all the delicious veggies, I knew it would be perfect and it was.

First, I just tossed all the pasta stuff in the skillet and warmed it up.

Then, I mixed together about 6-7 eggs, and about 1 1/2 cups of milk, some grated cheddar, and salt and pepper. Simply pour that mixture over the pasta noodles.

I stir around a little bit...just to make sure the egg is evenly mixed with the noodles and that the cheese gets spread around. Then I let it cook for 8-10 minutes with the lid on.  After that, simply remove the lid and put the whole pan under the broiler for another 8-10 minutes until the whole thing looks bubbly and browned.
And then be SUPER careful when you take the very hot skillet, with a VERY hot handle, out of the oven!! ; )
I forgot to get a picture before we dug in...but it had this delicious crispy top and soft fluffy middle.

This was probably the best frittata I have ever made.  The onion, zucchini, and small little tomato chunks were divine.  We love our frittatas best smothered with our homemade canned salsa.

 If you haven't ever made a really should try it sometime.  It is the perfect thing to do with leftover pasta and any veggies you might have that need to be used in your fridge!

And since we have chickens, we are always thinking up ways to use our eggs!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Tomato and Zucchini Linguine

{Meatless Monday}

This is another recipe from Everyday Food back in 2006.  It is a very simple dish.

Here's what you need:

course salt and pepper
3/4 pound whole wheat linguine
2 T olive oil
1 small red onion, halved and cut into 1/2" slices
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 zucchini, halved crosswise and cut into 1/4" sticks
2 plum tomatoes, quartered and cut into strips
3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to directions.  Meanwhile, heat 1 T oil in a pan.  Add onion and garlic; cook 5-7 minutes until softened.  Add zucchini and 1/2 cup water.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cover and cook until zucchini is tender, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

The original recipe had you add the tomatoes once your stirred it all in with the pasta, but I prefer my tomatoes at least a little bit cooked, so I tossed them in for a few minutes with the onion and zucchini.

Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup pasta water.  Return pasta to pot and add zucchini mixture, remaining 1 T oil, 1/2 cup parmesan and the reserved  pasta water to your desired taste.  Season with more salt and pepper and toss.

Serve immediately, topped with more Parmesan.

We liked this one alright this first night we made it.  I think if I make it again, I will add just a splash of half and half or something creamy with the veggies right before I mix them with the pasta.  In my opinion, it needed just a little more sauce...just a little more creaminess to set off the yummy sautéed vegetables.

But what we LOVED about this recipe is what I did with the leftovers on the next night!
Stay tuned...for next Meatless Monday! ; )

Monday, September 10, 2012

Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce

{Meatless Monday}

This is a recipe that I have had marked for a very long time.  It comes from Everyday Food back in 2006!  I can't believe it took me so long to try it.  I LOVED it.  The flavor is amazing.  

Here's what you need:

  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 medium onion, cut into small wedges
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rubbed sage (I left this out...I didn't have any)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 5 cloves garlic, peel on
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • Pasta (such as cheese ravioli or any short pasta), for serving
  • Toppings, such as grated Parmesan cheese, chopped toasted walnuts, finely chopped fresh sage

I actually added the onion to the recipe...because in my opinion, EVERYTHING is better with roasted onion in it!! ; )

This picture was taken before I decided to add the onion....

 Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut the top and bottom off of  your squash.  Peel entire squash with vegetable peeler, then cut in half and scoop out seeds. 

Cut squash into 1-inch chunks; transfer to a cookie sheet. Toss with onion, oil, and sage; season with salt and pepper. Place garlic on cookie sheet. 
(So you might notice that my pieces are NOT 1" chunks.  I had the hubby cut mine and forgot to give those directions...but the good thing was, I think they cooked a little faster because they were so small. ; )
  I recommend you put all the cloves in one place.  I had a heck of a time getting all the little cloves out from among my veggies.  And you HAVE to find them to remove the skins.  

Roast until squash is very tender, about 30-35 minutes, tossing once halfway through. 
Remove and discard skin from garlic.

Blend squash, onion, and garlic into a puree, using blender or food processor. With motor running, add half-and-half; process until smooth. Add 1 to 2 cups  water; continue to process until smooth, adding water to thin if necessary. (I was using my blender and HAD to add the water at the beginning to even get the thing to blend at all.)  Season again with salt.  I ended up adding quite a bit of water.  For sure the full 2 cups and maybe more.  I transferred it all to a pot and heated it back up.  

At this point, I started tasting it...and I couldn't stop!! is so creamy and so flavorful.  I think I just want to live on a diet of roasted vegetables and dark chocolate!  ; )

Cook pasta according to package instructions.  Drain pasta and return to pot.  Now, at this point you have two choices of how to serve it.  The recipe says that you can reserve a little pasta water and then stir all the sauce together with the pasta, using the pasta water, if necessary to thin. I chose to serve mine individually, so that they would look prettier.  
I topped ours with chopped walnuts and grated parmesan cheese.

I finished my serving and then just helped myself to another scoop of the sauce.  Who needs pasta when the sauce is this amazing??  

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Easy Vegetarian Lasagna

{Meatless Monday}..... on Tuesday  ; )  oops....

I call this lasagna "easy" because you can simply throw in whatever vegetables you want or whatever you happen to have in your fridge.

Today I used:

zucchini squash
summer squash
red pepper
red onion

I have a complete and utter LOVE of roasted red onion.  I don't know why...but I seriously can't stop eating it.  I bought the HUGEST red onion I have ever seen...and ended up wishing I had bought two.

I started by slicing the ginormous onion, drizzled olive oil over it and lightly salt and peppered. I put it under the broiler in the oven--probably for about 10 minutes, stirring half way.  I like to broil them until some of them are blackened on the edges and they taste caramelized.

Then I sautéed the red pepper in a good amount of olive oil for a bit while I let the carrots boil in their own little pot.  I knew they would need so much more cooking than my other veggies to be soft, so I cooked them alone until they were tender.

Then I added the mushrooms and squashes to the red pepper with a little water and a good amount of salt and pepper.  Then when they were all tender and the onion was done roasting, I mixed them all together (including the drained carrots) and stirred in a couple handfuls of roughly chopped spinach.

This picture was actually taken before the spinach was just don't look too closely! ; )

 I had a hard time not just eating this whole pan.  And it was a big pan...enough for two lasagnas!  ; )
In fact, this is pretty much what I ate for lunch since I was cooking them all up just before noon.

Then I simply had my cooked lasagna noodles and layered them with store-bought Ragu spaghetti sauce, and cheddar and mozzarella.

If you want a creamier lasagna, you can also stir one egg into 1-2 cups of cottage cheese and spread that evenly throughout the layers.  I completely meant to do that...but I was too busy tasting and nibbling and I lost my focus! : )

I never got a picture of it cooked...because dinner time gets so crazy.  But this would be a wonderful and easy thing to make a day ahead, or make multiples and pop one in the freezer!