The Miniseries, Part III

I know, I know.  It’s been a while.  Believe it or not, I couldn’t keep up the frantic posting pace I started out with, especially since I’ve been busy apartment-hunting this past week or so (more about that to come).  But never fear; I have not abandoned you for good.  In fact, I now present Part III of the Miniseries.  The menu this time will be fresh pasta with tomato sauce, baked zucchini fries, and a peach caprese salad.

Baked Zucchini Fries, Fresh Pasta with Tomato Sauce, and Peach Caprese Salad

This time, all of the ingredients used were from Schnucks (substitute whatever your local grocery store is called, and you too should be good to go) or Trader Joe’s.  Also, WARNING: I forgot to photograph the zucchini fries and the pasta by themselves.  Whoops!  Too hungry, I guess.  Forgive me?

FRESH PASTA WITH TOMATO SAUCE

So, my inclusion of this recipe is all wrong for several reasons.  First of all, I didn’t technically find it on Pinterest.  I found it on the Internet at large and then put it on Pinterest myself.  Second of all, I feel that I’m being slightly traitorous to my grandmother’s wonderful, wonderful sauce recipe.  But I will go ahead and justify that by saying that this one I can make faster since I mind cutting corners less when the recipe doesn’t have personal connections, and furthermore family recipes should stay in the family.  Right?  That’s why you definitely can’t find a variation of my family’s pizza and pasta sauce recipes at any Amato’s… Oh wait.  You can.  Moral of the story: go to Amato’s or my house to sample my family sauce recipe, or read on to sample Giada’s as found on foodnetwork.com.

Fresh Pasta with Tomato Sauce {serves 4 twice}

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 28-oz cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 small can tomato paste (my addition)
  • about 6 basil leaves
  • 2 dried bay leaves (just leave them out if you don’t have any)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh pasta (Trader Joe’s just got this!  Find it by the ravioli)
  1.  Sauté the onion and garlic in a large pot until the onion is translucent.
  2. Add the celery and carrot, season with pepper, and continuing sautéing until all the vegetables are soft.
  3.  Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, and bay leaves.
  4.  Reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the sauce is thick enough.
  5. While the sauce is simmering, boil some water and cook the pasta according to the directions on the package.
  6.  Remove the bay leaves and blend the sauce in a blender or food processor.  I like to leave it with a fair bit of texture.
  7. Toss the pasta with about half of the sauce.
  8.  Done.  Eat and Enjoy.

One of the best things about this recipe (aside from how good it tastes) is that a half-recipe will adequately cover a whole box of pasta, meaning you can freeze the other half and save it for when you need to make a quick meal later.

BAKED ZUCCHINI FRIES

These.  Are.  Incredible.   A great way to eat your vegetables while feeling like you’re getting away with something.  This time the recipe really was found on Pinterest.  The credit for the original recipe goes to Georgia at The Comfort of Cooking.  I found the recipe through Sarah Maleas on Pinterest (who found it through Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean) and you can find it here.  These were very easy to make, and saved relatively well (they were still good the next day when I warmed some up in the toaster oven).

Baked Zucchini Fries {serves around 4}

  • 3 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise into thin strips
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs (I ended up using more than a ½ cup)
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan, finely grated
  • freshly ground pepper
  1. Preheat the over to 425°.
  2. Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl.  Place flour in a second bowl and mix the breadcrumbs and Parmesan in a third.
  3.  Dip the zucchini sticks in the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs, making sure all sides are well-coated.
  4.  Place the prepared zucchini sticks on a greased baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, until golden brown and crispy.
  5.  Done.  Eat and enjoy.

These were delicious dipped in some of the extra tomato sauce.  We also had enough egg left over that we were able to make a scrambled egg appetizer (delicious with some of the leftover basil and Parmesan thrown in)!

PEACH CAPRESE

One of my all-time favorite salads is the simple caprese (mozzarella, tomato, and basil tossed with a little olive oil), so I was excited to try this summer-sweet variation.  It tasted just as good as it sounded.

The recipe comes from realsimple.com.  I found it through Lauren Conrad on Pinterest.  Is she famous?  I thought her name sounded familiar.  Either way, she certainly knows how to pick out a good salad.

Peach Caprese {serves 4}

  • 3 ripe peaches, cut into bite-size cubes
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 8 oz. mozzarella, cubed
  • approximately 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  1.  Combine all of the ingredients together in a large bowl.  Toss.
  2. Done.  Eat and enjoy.

I enjoyed the meal with a glass of Bandit Pinot Grigio. It comes in a bright green box and is delicious not only the night of, but also three nights later.  Some left over to have with the leftovers!  What’s not to love?

So that’s all for Episode 3.  Look for the next installment soon (preview: there’s another delicious caprese variation to look forward to)!

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