Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Ziti w/Sausage, Eggplant, Zucchini, & Mushrooms

This week is a very busy week in the evenings. Lots of evening appointments. Since we didn't want to eat Wendy's/Arby's type food 3-4 days this week, we wanted meals that could be quickly reheated. We also wanted the quick meals to have more vegetables than our usual quick meals (breakfast sandwiches/scrambled eggs, frozen ravioli). Inspired by an Emeril Eggplant, Sausage, and Ziti recipe as well as an Anne Burrell Lasagna recipe (with sausage, mushrooms, and zucchini) and our own summertime pasta salads, we decided to make a pasta bake with homemade marinara, lots of veggies, sausage, and only mozzarella & parmesan cheeses (no ricotta).
The first step: homemade marinara sauce. We sauteed celery. mushrooms, and onions, put them in a crock pot, added tomatoes and tomato paste, parmesan rind, and herbs (including frozen fresh basil) and let it simmer all afternoon.
Before putting the dish together, we opened one of our bottles of wine from last year's trip to Frogtown Cellars in Georgia. This one is a red wine called 'Convergence.'
It's 66% Cabernet & Malbec from Russian River, Sonoma and 34% Cabernet Franc from Georgia. It's tasty, but as we've been discovering, sometimes wines that are so tasty at the winery are just so-so once you get home.
 As usual, I was in charge of chopping. Eggplant, mushrooms, and zucchini.
 SP sauteed some sausage.
He drained nearly all the sausage fat out of the pan and then sauteed the eggplant, zucchini, and mushrooms.
 Meanwhile, he cooked the ziti. Everything got dumped into a large bowl.
Then it got dumped into a casserole dish, sprinkled with grated fresh mozzarella & parmesan, and baked at 350 until hot.
 Yum. It's really tasty.
And the best part is that it made enough for 4 additional meals. We kept 3 containers in the refrigerator for this week and put one in the freezer.

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