I just took 2 NyQuil, so right now starts a countdown before I start typing crazy and then pass out on the keyboard. Let’s get this going, shall we?
Today UPS rang the doorbell, and I was excited to see that the box WASN’T DIAPERS. Those are the only packages we get around here. Look what I got!
Three bottles of Crisco olive oil that I was sent to try as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemakers Program: Extra Virgin, Pure and Light. Serendipitous, since I was down to the dregs of my last bottle of olive oil AND because I was planning to make pasta for dinner.
(Actually, I was planning on talking Brian into taking us out to dinner- but then a box of olive oil arrived on my doorstep and I took that as a sign that I should actually cook something.)
I usually only buy extra virgin olive oil, which is dumb because you want a less-flavorful oil for baking and (sometimes) cooking. The more fruity extra virgin is best for things like drizzling on veggies, bread dipping and making salad dressing. Anyway, I was excited to veer from the usual and give the other olive oil “versions” a shot. For this recipe I used the pure olive oil, because I was looking for just a touch of the olive flavor- less than extra virgin but more than light.
As part of that recipe exchange I mentioned last night, my friend Erin submitted a dish that involved grating veggies and adding them to pasta sauce. Genius, especially for those itty-bitties who refuse to eat their vegetables. Jack’s been poo-pooing (figuratively) SO many of the meals I’ve put in front of him lately that I’m getting a little desperate. Grapes and pickles, though delicious, do not a meal make.
SO. Tonight I tried the sneaking veggies routine. Not really “sneaking” per se- you could definitely see them in there- but just incorporating them less conspicuously in terms of texture. And I’m particularly proud of the lentil addition, because they boosted the protein and fiber, and gave it a little heft without altering the taste. And of course I topped it with goat cheese, because I top everything with goat cheese. You don’t have to do that if you don’t want to.
What Veggies? Pasta
- 2 Tbs Crisco Pure Olive Oil
- 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
- 1 Medium Eggplant, Cubed (you can leave the peel on)
- 1/2 Cup Red Wine
- 2 Zucchini, Shredded or Grated (I used the grater attachment on the food processor)
- 2 Yellow Squash, Shredded or Grated
- 2 Carrots, Shredded or Grated
- 1 Can Mushrooms, Drained
- 1 15 oz Can Lentils, Drained and Rinsed
- 2 Jars Marinara Sauce (I always use Barilla Marinara)
- 1 Box Whole Wheat Rotini, Cooked and Drained
- Optional: Goat Cheese and/or Parmesan Cheese
1. Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds.
2. Add cubed eggplant and stir. Saute for a few minutes, then reduce heat to medium and put lid on pot. Check and stir every few minutes until the eggplant starts to break down (this took maybe 10 minutes). It’s okay if you see some brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan, but try not to burn the eggplant. If it seems to be sticking too much, add a few more glugs of olive oil.
3. Once the eggplant has mostly broken down- some chunks are okay- add red wine and scrape to deglaze the pan. Simmer wine for a couple minutes until it has reduced by about half.
4. Add shredded zucchini, squash and carrots. Saute for several minutes, until the vegetables have softened.
5. Add mushrooms, lentils and marinara sauce. Stir until combined, then allow to simmer for about 20-30 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, garlic powder, etc.
6. Serve over rotini and garnish with goat cheese and/or parmesan, if using.
Jack really liked it! Brian set him up with his little plate and fork in the dining room, and by the time we got in there with our plates, Jack was halfway through his pasta. I’m excited to try the other olive oil flavors, too!
Okay, cold medicine kicking in… time to hit the hay before I embarrass myself.
*Product was provided by Crisco as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, but- as usual- all opinions are mine!*