Thursday, August 29, 2013

On a Mission: Meal Planning Day 4

Pasta pasta pasta! Per my hubby's request, I made a pasta dish last night. Pasta alla Norma is a spicy eggplant and tomato combination. I love anything with eggplant! I also love any pasta dish that involves veggies. I always decrease the amount of pasta and up my portion of veggies. Here are some of my pasta veggie secrets:

- In the last 2-3 minute of pasta cooking time, add in strands (made with a vegetable peeler) of zucchini and summer squash to your spaghetti.
- Make a sauce out of roasted, pureed butternut squash 
- Make a "no-cook" sauce out of tomatoes, roasted red peppers, garlic, basil, and olive oil. The warm pasta will heat the sauce and veggies, bringing out the flavors! Add in some shredded low-fat mozzarella for the ooey gooey factor.

Pasta alla Norma is a quick dish and can be made in ~30 minutes. You can double or triple everything and save the sauce in the freezer for a delicious lunch or light dinner anytime! It would be great with crumbled hot Italian turkey sausage. 

Pasta alla Norma
3/4lb rigatoni pasta 
1 medium eggplant sliced into rounds 
1 can plum tomatoes, crushed by hand or snipped with poultry shears 
3 cloves garlic, minced
1tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2tbsp crumbles goat cheese
1/4 cup fresh basil, sliced in strips
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.  Heat olive oil over medium heat in sauce pan. Add garlic and red pepper, stirring until fragrant. Add tomatoes, bring to a boil and continue to simmer ~20 minutes. Meanwhile, salt and pepper eggplant rounds. Heat a nonstick grill pan to medium high heat and grill eggplant rounds until soft and browned. Chop eggplant into bite size pieces and add to tomato sauce. Pour sauce over pasta and toss until well coated. Serve with fresh basil and goat cheese on top.

To freeze
Prepare sauce only with eggplant. Freeze in freezer safe plastic bags and lay flat to freeze. 
To eat:
Defrost sauce in refrigerator overnight. Reheat on stove top until boiling. Serve over rigatoni with basil and goat cheese. 


Stay tuned for my next meal planning in a mission recipe: chicken artichoke bake!

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