Sometimes I want pasta, but without, you know pasta. I find if there is a meat sauce, it is pretty easy to sub vegetables for noodles with very little complaints. And then save the spaghetti and penne for veg-only nights.
Along with tomatoes and corn, I try and get eggplant in at every turn come summer. It is great grilled simply, perhaps with a mash up of other summer squash, finished with just a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper and mint or basil. Or roasted with cherry tomatoes, tossed with some capers and herbs for a simple topping to grilled fish.
But last night I wanted something a bit more hearty, while still pretty healthy. I made a simple “bolognese” (not the real deal, but delicious none the less), with ground turkey (dark and light), onion and garlic, tomatoes – both a can of whole San Marzanos and some fresh heirlooms on their last leg, grated to easily be rid of the skin – herbs and some time. I was able to throw it together in the afternoon and left it to simmer for hours. Many of my tomato sauces are the quick kind, but it is nice to remember what happens when things have a chance to really meld together.
Once the sauce was ready, dinner came together pretty quickly.
- Slice and salt eggplant, let it sit for a few minutes and pat dry.
- Grill the eggplant (indoors, or out).
- Top with meat sauce and add a teeny bit of mozzarella (I used fresh mozzarella, but thought smoked would’ve been ideal, if our market had it).
- Broil until cheese is melted, golden brown and bubbly.
- Finish with fresh basil, which brings you back to summer.
We had it with some sauteed kale (which I felt I needed after a decadently long 4th week) but a simple summer salad would be great too.
Do you ever have pasta dinners, hold the pasta? In the fall, spaghetti squash is the perfect sub…