Even though my family’s recipes are deeply rooted in the South (think bacon, butter and sugar EVERYTHING), I am always looking for healthy recipes to cook at home. Although I think it is crucial to be mindful of what we put in our bodies and enjoy everything in moderation, I am also a firm believer in giving your body what it craves. I don’t usually have strong cravings for much, but when I have my heart on something, I make it happen. And that’s the beauty of cooking, you can make anything in your own home, just the way you like it!
This week, after a kickball championship win (yew!), I was craving veggies but needed something more because I had just spent three hours running around on very little fuel (occupational hazard). I had a perfect single serving of pasta and some marinara in the pantry, so I decided to be inspired. One of my favorite movies is Ratatouille, and although I have never made the namesake dish, I can certainly relate to the moral of the story. That ANYONE CAN COOK!
The traditional dish does use marinara, mozzarella cheese and zucchini, all of which I planned on using. I decided to raid the produce drawer in our fridge because it is overflowing with goods just waiting to be eaten. I chopped up a 1/4 cup each of onion, carrots, zucchini, bell pepper and broccoli, and while I chop chop chopped, sauteed some garlic on a heated pan. Once the pan was hot, I threw in the veggies and let them grill up nice and golden brown.
On the side, I simply grated some Fontina and Mozzarella cheese and cooked a heaping cup of Penne pasta. Once done, I drained the pasta and placed it in a mini casserole dish (about halfway). I then covered the pasta with an eyeballed 1/3 cup of marinara, and tore up and sprinkled fresh basil leaves on top. Once the veggies were lightly carmelized, I laid them over the pasta sauce and proceeded to sprinkle cheese on top to complete this creation.
I baked the dish on 350 for 10 minutes and then broiled it for a few more til the cheese began to brown. Voila! My hearty veggie pasta dish was born… and then died… a very fast delicious death 😉