Thursday, July 28, 2011

Eggplant Zucchini Bolognese & Salad with Maple Dijon Vinaigrette

I like to make dinners well I try using items that are on sale at Publix. This week was ground turkey and ground chuck. I have always wanted to try making something with ground turkey and see if Ed notices - he thinks ground turkey is gross. Well I wasn't that adventurous on Tuesday and got ground chuck instead :/ I found a recipe for Egglant Zucchini Bolognese (a meat spaghetti sauce) - I think ground turkey would be great in this recipe and no one would know! Buttt I used ground beef this time. We had our friends Will and Nicole over - who got engaged on Saturday and we didn't get to make it to the party - so I invited them over for a celebration dinner!
*I didn't take any pictures of this dish - start to finish - so bear with me on this one :)

Here is what you will need:
1 Box (16oz) Penne Pasta - I used about 3/4 of the box since we only had 5 people eating - I made all of the sauce because Ed and I like A LOT of sauce.
1 Small Eggplant - peeled, and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 Medium Zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 Medium Yellow Summer Squash, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 Cup Onion, chopped
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tsp Minced Garlic
1 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Pepper
1 lb ground beef (you can use whatever fat/meat ratio you want - I used 80/20 - or ground turkey!)
2 cans tomato sauce - no salt added
1 Jar of High Quality Spaghetti Sauce
1 1/2 Fresh Garden Tomatoes, chopped
1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning (I use McCormick's Italian Medley No Salt Added)
1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
Grated Parmesan for serving

Here's how you make it:
1. Put water in pot and bring to a boil. Cook a minute less than al dente because you will be putting the pasta in the tomato sauce and letting it simmer for a couple minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the eggplant, zucchini, squash, onion, olive oil, S&P. Transfer to a baking pan that is coated with non-stick spray (I only had enough veggies for 1 pan, you should use 2 pans if it seems the 1st pan is over-crowded) Put in the pre-heated oven for 25-35 minutes or until tender. To make my veggies a little 'roastier' I turned the broiler on for about 3 minutes or so - if you do this you really have to keep an eye on them or they could burn to a crisp in a matter of seconds!
3. While the veggies are roasting, cook the beef in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook until no longer pink in the center then drain. Stir in the tomato sauce, tomatoes and spaghetti sauce (use a much or as little as you desire), Italian seasoning and brown sugar.
4. Drain the pasta. Then add pasta and roasted veggies into the Bolognese sauce.
5. Make your plate, sprinkle with Parm and dig in!

* I served this with a baguette and a big salad with carrots and cherry tomatoes with a Maple Dijon Vinaigrette.

Here is the recipe for the Vinaigrette - a favorite in our house. I just stumbled across this recipe when trying to find a quick vinaigrette to make one night. SO yummy.

Maple Dijon Vinaigrette
You will need:
1/4 cup maple syrup (do NOT use imitation syrup, it will not taste right)
2 Tbsp Minced Shallot
2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp Canola Oil
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 Clove Garlic, minced
S&P to taste

How to...
Mix all the ingredients together and serve! I have a handy little salad dressing bottle I got at Publix for about $3 - much easier to throw all the ingredients in there and shake. Instead of using a whisk and trying not to spill it everywhere when pouring it into a container or from the bowl into your salad.

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