Life married to an Italian: Bread, pasta, cream sauces, bread, more pasta……… Can you imagine what my diet would be like if I didn’t stand my ground? Well, okay so he is only half Italian!! Oh and veggies. Yes they eat veggies, uh fried. Did you know that you could fry cauliflower!! I had never heard of this before meeting his family.
Lucky for me he is an easy person to feed. He likes veggies of all types, cooked many different ways, and will pretty much eat whatever I put in front of him 🙂 He still insists on bread and meat. Now don’t get me wrong I like meat, but since I began eating clean I have tried to incorporate more vegetarian dishes into my diet. So begins my adventure today…..
So remember that lovely picture of those beautiful veggies I had on my earlier post…..
I give you Ratatouille ~ Spaghetti 😉
This gives me the best of both worlds – pasta and meatless dinner (not including the venison sausage I had to cook for the hubster…lol!)
So we begin with a true Italian tomato sauce! This is an art form, I had to give it a go several times to get it Little Old Italian Lady approved, begin with chopped onion & garlic. Heat olive oil in a big ol pot on medium-low heat and toss the onions in first. After a few minutes, toss in the garlic and saute another minute or so….be careful not to burn it!
Then we put the tomatoes in. I normally use a BIG can of crushed along with two small cans of tomato sauce. I didn’t have crushed 😦 So we used 3 small cans of sauce and 1 can of italian diced tomatoes.
Now for the seasonings……2 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. fennel seeds (important for Italian sauce)
A few bay leaves, a shake of parsley (pic blurred)
And now for the secret (extremely important) ingredient…..
Agave Nectar! Now true Italian sauce is a sweet sauce, which is usually sweetened with sugar. Since I am a clean eater, I do not use refined white sugar (no-not at all); therefore, I use Agave Nectar (out of brown rice syrup). You can use sugar if you chose. Now I do not really have a measurement for this. To each it’s own! Some like it sweeter than others. Start with about 2 tbs. then slowly add from there until you can taste the sweetness.
Since this dish is going to be a Ratatouille version of spaghetti, I grated one carrot into the pot. No need to peel it, the “skin” has good nutrients…just wash very well.
Once it is properly seasoned, cover that big ol pot, turn heat to low, and simmer for at least an hour stirring occasionally. You must let it simmer for the flavors to “marry”!
All this chopping and measuring has me a little hungry…..time for snack
Have you ever seen a peach this big! I think I will just have half with some peanut butter. Oh and I think I will heat it in the microwave! ~ I should pose for Twilight..haha!
Now for those lovely veggies….
Chop them and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and place in a preheated oven (400) and roast until tender. I used zuchinni, cabbage, and eggplant.
Cook your pasta (I used brown rice pasta, any will do) drain and rinse. Once the sauce has finished simmering and the veggies are roasted, toss them with the sauce. Do this in batches. You will have more sauce than you actually need for this dish. Reserve the remaining sauce and freeze for an easy quick dinner you can pull out at a later time 🙂
A lovely Kale & Spinach Salad to accompany the pasta!! Topped with radishes and tomato, tossed in poppyseed dressing!
Dinner is served!