Tuesday, March 3, 2009

no fuss Italian dinners

So the last week has been my week for minimal effort recipes.  I made my version of whatever-i-have-in-the-pantry minestrone. (It's similar to the pasta e fagioli recipe posted by jovaliquilts, but easier, and probably less gourmet-tasting.)  You could easily adapt her recipe to mine by subbing canned beans--I know it's not the same, but it's ready in 20 minutes that way!  I also increase the tomato-to-water ratio for a more tomato-y broth.  I use a 15 oz can of diced tomatoes including juices, or throw in a canned tomato sauce, and reduce the water to 6 cups.  This time I put in a potato and a few lima beans and green peas, frozen chopped spinach, and even a little eggplant.  Not authentic but it's what I had.  

This type of soup recipe can take a lot of abuse and still come out quite tasty, in my estimation.  A good grind of black pepper or a drizzle of balsamic vinegar at the end can up the flavor quotient and turn it into something quite delicious.  Anyway, if you have the time, make jovali's recipe, but if it's 8 pm already and you haven't been to the store in days, then the abbreviated version can still hit the spot.  

Continuing the Italian theme, I made this spinach mushroom lasagna last night.  Again, there are probably more gourmet lasagna recipes, but this one scores major points for requiring less than 15 minutes of prep before you throw it all in the oven.  I even mashed the tofu with my hands (they were clean, i promise!).  It seemed really saucy when I put in the oven, but because the noodles weren't precooked, they seemed to absorb much of the excess sauce and it came out just fine.


Ribbit said...

OK, so i am not really food minded at the moment. But I will comment anyway. I want to say it's clever that you said Jovali's recipe, because I had tried to determine what the grammatically correct way to ascribe to her was-- jovaliquilts's, or what. I even thought as far as "hmm, so man-at-arms --> men-at-arms, but is it the men's-at-arms or men-at-arm's? and hoped idly the same rules would apply here. How clever to drop the verb :)


I ate pasta e fagioli every day this week, because I accidentally doubled the recipe, and nobody in my house wanted any. It was delicious at first, but I can't think about it now. Finally I brought a huuge tupperware to the office and everyone ate.
Right now I'm eating parmesan on brown rice. It's not vegan, but so so delicious. I recommend it highly.

So, here's a question: if you eat lentils or beans for 3 days straight, does it start to make your stomach burn on the third day? cuz both guy and I have experienced this, and I'm wondering whether the food goes bad or whether it's just an emotional reaction. And, don't tell me that you don't eat the same dish for 3 days!

Jocelyn said...

Oooh that recipe looks good! Maybe I should make it tonight...

Um, Ribbit ... I don't eat the same dish for 3 days. :) I haven't had the experience of lentils or beans going back that quickly though.

jovaliquilts said...

I love cooking lasagna with uncooked noodles, saves soooo much time and effort! And I always mash the tofu with my hands -- somehow the texture is better than way. :)

jasmine said...

i've never had my stomach burn from pretty much anything that i've cooked at home. i do try to avoid eating the same thing for 3 days straight. But, I do use 3 days as my usual cutoff for leftovers stored in the fridge. i'm surprised you had no takers on the pasta e fagioli though--it's so delicious!