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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ratatouille Rating

Well, I must report that though the ratatouille was pretty good, it was not well received by my children.  I think it would make a much better side dish than a main dish but vegetarians will love it.  The recipe I used called for eggplant, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, basil, mushrooms, and zucchini, all layered with Parmesan cheese.  It was a pretty dish as well.  If you are interested in making ratatouille, simply google it. There were plenty of recipes online and none were hard, just a bit time consuming with all the vegetable chopping.

Continuing with the farmers' market theme and fresh produce, I am sharing a favorite pasta dish that uses eggplant, tomatoes and fresh parsley.  Eggplant is one of those vegetables that people don't know what to do with it seems.  I love eggplant and look forward to finding new uses for it.  My kids never even noticed the eggplant in this dish so give it a try and see how your family likes it.

Penne With Sausage, Eggplant and Feta
4 1/2 cups peeled, cubed eggplant
1/2 lb. light pork sausage
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 ripe tomatoes, diced or 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
10 oz. cooked penne pasta
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Cook eggplant, sausage and garlic in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat until sausage is browned and eggplant is tender.  Add tomato paste and next 3 ingredients.  Cook over medium heat 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add pasta, cheese and parsley to sausage mixture and toss well.  Makes 4 servings.

Serve with a salad and crusty bread.  Notice how easy my dinners are, side salad and bread heated in the oven.  All our vegetables are in one dish practically.  I am making this dish Friday with the tomatoes and eggplant I got Tuesday at the Farmers' Market.  I will make another trip Saturday for more tomatoes and blueberries, maybe a melon of some sort.  I hope to see you there!

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