Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Vegetarian Spaghetti

Who says you need ground meat to make scrumptious spaghetti? Not me! With the husband bringing home as much fresh produce as I could want, i decided to stir up some spaghetti for dinner. No, the sauce is not home canned and the pasta not home pressed.... but i'm dealing with a new kitchen and a fraction of my kitchen tools, okay! The reason i even had store bought spaghetti sauce in my cupboard at all stems around my desire to avoid BPAs. Canned tomatoes are packaged in cans that are lined with the nasty plastic stuff, so if i want store bought preserved tomatoes, i go with those that are packaged in glass. That leaves me most often with prepared pasta sauce. There are some decent options out there, just be sure and read the ingredient labels: there's a lot of sugar and corn syrup hiding out there!

Veggie Spaghettie
  • 2-3 small zucchini, quartered and sliced
  • 2-3 small/young Asian eggplants, halved and sliced. (You could use larger Italian eggplants as well, but if you want to skip peeling them choose very young specimens with thin skin)
  • Mushrooms, about a cup diced
  • 1 large or 2 small sweet onions, diced
  • Several cloves garlic, diced
  • We like it spicy: 5-6 diced serranos or jalapenos or cayenne peppers
  • Fresh and dried herbs: basil, rosemary, thyme, tarragon etc
  • Splash red wine
  • Tomato Sauce, preferably home canned or organic
Note to self and others: eggplants and mushrooms cook at about the same speed! I made this batch of sauce with the zucchini and eggplant going in at the same time. Mushy eggplant. That's fine and everything, but i would have liked a little more oomf left in those little purple friends. This is how i'd recommend cooking it:

Drizzle a pan with some olive oil and throw in the onions, zucchini, dried herbs and some salt on med/high heat. It's nice to get a little brown on the zucchini for flavor and texture. Stir it about so it doesn't get overly burned, and throw in the rest of the veggies once the zucchini is getting a bit soft.  Once the shrooms are getting soft, cover the whole pan in the pasta sauce, red wine and fresh herbs. Stir and cover on med, med/low until the sauce is bubbling nicely. Let the flavors amalgamate for at least 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the tomato from sticking, at which point you can turn it down to low and let the sauce hang out until you're ready for it.

I served ours over some (store bought) angel hair pasta and shredded some parm on top. Delish! Very filling, packed with nutrients, and much lower in fat than sauce filled with sausage or ground beef. Feel free to toss in any veggies you like and keep it seasonal. Butternuts in Fall, garlic scapes in Spring.... nom nom nom.

This post can be found at Simple Lives Thursday!

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