Thursday, October 7, 2010

Lots of pasta!

Over the weekend, armed with a few copies of recent cooking magazines, I did something I've never done before; I meal planned for the week. I was scheduled to work on Tuesday and Wednesday and I didn't want us to fall into the trap of "What do you want to do for dinner? I don't know what do you want to do?" We tend to have that happen more so on the days I work, I'm not home until 8 pm, and by that time, it's either we go out or scrounge in the fridge for something that sounds good.

I did not want to scrounge this week.

So our first meal of the week on Monday night was pasta, a whole wheat spaghetti, with an eggplant bolognese sauce. The recipe was a great find since I came home from the Farmer's market last Friday with 4 smaller eggplant and my plant out in the garden kicked out a few more over the weekend.

That's a lot of eggplant.
I also had to face the sad reality I am going to need to buy canned tomatoes here soon. I used my second to last jar in the sauce. I am still sad my tomato plants had such a bad year.

The sauce was good for dinner and really good reheated for lunch at work the next day. I think it is a recipe we will use again.

Eggplant Bolognese

Adapted from Cooking Light

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/4 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 pound ground sirloin
8 cups chopped eggplant (about 1 1/2 pounds)
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup red wine
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
10 ounces whole wheat spaghetti

Heat oil in dutch oven over medium heat, adding the onion and ground sirloin. Cook for 10 minute until onion is soft and beef is browned. Add eggplant, garlic, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and cook 20 minutes until the eggplant is very soft, stirring occasionally. Add the tomato paste and cook for two minutes, stirring constantly, then add wine to deglaze the pan and continue to cook for one minute, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Cook your pasta as directed, drain, and toss together with the sauce. Serves 6 or two people for dinner one night and lunch the next two days.

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