Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Red Pepper-Zucchini Sauce

Dinner tonight was a zesty spin on boring old spaghetti with marinara sauce.

Pasta with Red Pepper-Zucchini Sauce
Total time: 30 minutes

4 oz dried pasta shapes of your choice (I used Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Rotini)
1/2 tsp olive oil
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/4 of a small onion, chopped
1/2 zucchini, chopped
1/4 cup canned diced tomatoes with juice, plus 2 Tbsp of the juice
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp paprika
salt and pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, set aside.

In a small pan, heat the oil and add the onion and pepper; cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and cook for about 15 minutes, until all the vegetables are nice and soft. If your pan gets too dry, add in some extra juice from the canned tomatoes, or vegetable or chicken stock, or water, or even white wine - just enough to keep the ingredients from getting too dry and burning. Put everything in a blender (if your blender is big enough; otherwise, do this in batches. Hot food + over-full blender = huge, painful mess) and blend to a smooth consistency.

Toss the pasta with the sauce, top with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan if it pleases your little connoisseur.

Abby liked this a lot - she eats like a bird, so this recipe made about 4 servings for her. She gobbled her bowl right down, and dinner was accompanied by a chorus of "mm!"s and "yum!"s. Exactly what I like to hear! This sauce has a zesty and strong red pepper taste. An adventurous tot might like it with a dash of crushed red pepper, but we're not quite there yet!

In other notes, I need to get Abby some cooler plates and bowls if I'm going to be posting pictures. My Gerber bowls and Ikea plates are a little too... plastic.

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