Friday, May 11

What's in Your Fridge Friday - Quick Veggie Pasta

You know those days when you feel like you have nothing in your fridge to make for dinner, yet it's completely full? Yeah, me too. Sometimes it's hard to force yourself to work with what you've got because going and buying everything for a recipe you already know is so easy. Last week I decided I was just gonna do with what I had on hand and skip a trip to the market. Then I thought, why not make this a weekly tradition? Let's call it What's in Your Fridge Friday.
I had basically one of every vegetable in my crisper leftover from various other recipes I'd made all week. Luckily, the meal that came out of them was sooooooo delicious, easy, AND bonus: vegetarian! Hooray for forced creativity!
I chopped up all of the veggies to roughly the same size, browned and cooked them down until they were tender. Then I deglazed them with white wine and added in some good old marinara sauce and herbs.
I reduced that down on a low simmer for about 30 minutes and had a fabulous, thick gardeny sauce ready to go in under an hour. I boiled some whole wheat spaghetti, drained it and dropped it into the Veggies to finish cooking. Oh and I added lots of cheese. You can never have too much cheese.
This is a method you can do with any veggies you have in the fridge. Broccoli would be great, as would different types of squash or even celery. Be creative. You'll save a trip to the store, not to mention, money!

Quick Veggie Pasta
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 Green Bell Pepper
1/2 yellow onion
1 Carrot
1 zucchini
10 or so green beans
20 or so small tomatoes (I used mini heirlooms)
4 cremini mushrooms
1 baby eggplant
1 tsp. of garlic, minced
1 T fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 C good white wine
1/2 a jar of your favorite marinara sauce
1/4 - 1/2 C grated parmesan cheese

Chop all of the vegetables to roughly the same size. Heat a heavy saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat. Swirl a tablespoon of olive oil in the pot and dump all of the chopped veggies in, stirring occasionally. After about 10-15 minutes, the veggies will become tender and lightly browned. Add the basil, garlic and salt and pepper and pour in the wine to deglaze the pot. Stir and add the marinara sauce, turning down the heat to low at the same time. Simmer the sauce for another 15 minutes or until slightly reduced and thick.

Meanwhile, boil your favorite pasta. I used whole wheat spaghetti. Just when the pasta becomes al dente, drain it and pour it into the Vegetable sauce. Stir to coat the pasta, add the parmesan cheese, stir again and serve!

Remember, this is just a guideline, you can add whatever veggies you like, and whatever sauce you like. Just make sure to use a really good wine, that you would actually drink. A sip or two while cooking always helps.


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