Years ago when I first started venturing onto food and recipe sites way back when, Epicurious was one of the first places I discovered and used regularly to find great recipes. I’m so excited that my book, Soup Day is now featured on their site! Read the article here.
Another food site I enjoy is Mark Bittman’s blog, Bitten, which is now part of a combined super site of NY Times dining blogs called Diner’s Journal.
I love Mark Bittman. I have several cookbooks and I read his columns in the NY Times and now in Cooking Light regularly. I love how his recipes are open to improvisation, and I adore his enthusiasm for healthy eating.
Have you see him lately? He has lost a lot of weight! I’ve noticed that his recipes have trended towards more vegetable based ones – probably because he’s eating this way now. Following his doctor’s recommendation he went vegan – well, he’s vegan for most of the day until dinner, then it’s anything goes. Still, he has improved his health and lost a lot of weight in the process. An interesting article on his diet transformation can be found here.
Last week, I decided to try his lighted version of Bolognese sauce found in his column, The Enlightened Cook, in Cooking Light. It is based on mostly mushrooms with just a bit of meat. If you are a vegetarian, you could omit the meat altogether. I kept it in because I wanted to flavor and extra protein. But because the sauce wasn’t dominated by the meat, it is much lighter, though you wouldn’t know it by the flavor. Here is a link to the recipe.
I changed it by accident by mistakenly using a 28-oz. can of tomatoes instead of a 14-oz. one, so it was probably thinner than his which we didn’t mind. Jamie and Denis loved it (Jamie: “This is the BEST sauce I’ve ever had!”) which is a plus and nice that it’s mostly plant based.
Since I made a full recipe, we had a nice portion of leftovers after one meal. I decided to re-purpose it and create a baked pasta dish–a la baked ziti. This is another easy weeknight dish and a great way to use leftovers while fooling your family (for those leftover haters.)
I put the sauce and leftover pasta in a 13” x 9” baking dish and added a bit more sauce (TJ’s organic marinara) to loosen it up. Then I covered it with foil and baked at 350 degress for about 20 minutes. I topped it with a mix of smoky mozzarella and regular mozzarella and grated parmesan cheeses and baked it uncovered for about 5-7 minutes to until the cheese was melted. You could also broil it if you wanted that brown, mottled top. It was really delicious. We had it with a fresh baguette and a side salad. You would never have known it was a “leftover”!
Easy Baked Pasta
Any kind of leftover pasta with sauce
Extra sauce if you’d like
Shredded Mozzarella and grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Put leftover pasta in a 13”x9” dish sprayed with non-stick spray and spread into an even layer. Add extra sauce if you wish.
- Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for about 20 minutes to heat through.
- Uncover pan, cover with cheese, and bake uncovered for another 5-7 minutes until cheese is melted. Alternatively, broil to melt cheese, watching closely.
- Cut into squares and serve.