Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Kayla's ABC pasta
I got this recipe/technique from my BFF Kayla and now I am going to share it with you.
Take an onion and chop it into itty bitty pieces, then start browning it in a pan with olive oil. (Doesn't that smell good?) When it is translucent throw in some chopped fine garlic and a bit of sea salt. Then throw in 1 pound of whatever ground meat product you are using (beef, pork, chicken, turkey) Add in some fresh chopped tomatoes (canned if you don't have fresh) and let that all simmer. While it is simmering chop whatever other vegetables you have on hand. I use a "Vidalia Onion" chopper, like you've seen on the infomercial, basically a gadget that presses the veggies through a metal grid to get uniform pieces. I use the finest (smallest) grid I have to get more itty bitty pieces. Chop 1 great big carrot, 1 small zucchini, 1 big stalk of celery, half a big green pepper and when you add in the onion, tomatoes and garlic it is well over 3 C of vegetables! Take the meat mixture and pour off the excess fat. Then add the vegetable mixture to the meat and stir it up with some oregano and some House Blend and then pop a lid over it and turn the temperature down to low. Since the meat is browned at this point you can let the veggies just steam in there. This only takes 10-15 minutes on low. Then you stir together the meat and veggies with one small can of tomato sauce, let it heat up, taste and adjust the seasoning if need be. While the tomato sauce is heating up, boil some water and cook the ABC pasta (only half a box!). I know it looks small and like a tiny amount of pasta but it makes a surprising amount. The last step is to simply add some pasta to the bowls, top with sauce and then mix it together. Because the pasta, the veggies, the little pieces of ground meat are all of uniform size and cunningly covered in red sauce and maybe some cheese, this goes down a treat for veggie phobic kids. My children would eat this all day every day if we had it.
You can serve this as a one dish meal since it has protein, carbs and tons of vegetables. I think if I were to make a vegetarian version of this I'd sub in some cooked lentils for the ground beef and make a vegetarian red sauce, but what say you my full-time vegetarian friends?