Thursday, October 9, 2008

Comfort Food Season - A recipe for that last Garden Zucchini

I love comfort food! That sentence has many, many, many meanings. Your comfort food is probably different from mine. It's most certainly in the mind of the beholder. I suppose the concept can be taken too far. Having a special treat every once in a while to say "job well done", "I'm glad that's over" or "that cranberry-spice scone sounds soooo good" is ok. I sure hope so 'cause that's the conversation I had with myself yesterday before I ate the scone from Bluestem Coffee House following my test. To use food to comfort ourselves daily or fill a void may not be wise. I suppose what we select is important, too. A pound of fudge, five candy bars or whole bag of chips... probably not-so-good. Anyway, back to loving comfort food...

You may have noticed a trend in my cooking...lots of pasta, red sauce and fresh ingredients (where possible). It's because these foods are comforting to me. Strange, I know. They come warm out of the skillet or the oven (in the case of the dish below), they taste great, they're filling and they're healthy. I can't help it...knowing I'm responsible for feeding the four men in my house leads me to spend a lot of time trying to find healthy, tasty foods.

Some of my garden plants this summer were teeny, tiny compared with normal growth. My zucchini plant was one and it didn't produce any harvestable veggies until the very end of the season. After sauteing a couple and a few chilly nights, it was time for some comfort food!

Pasta Bake with Zuccini

1 16 oz. box of Ziti, Mostociolli or Penne (I only use about 3/4 a box)

1 lb. ground beef

Red Sauce (in a hurry, Newman's Own Basil and Tomato is delish)

4-6 oz. Mozzarella Cheese

1/4 cup Parmesian Cheese

A Zucchini, chopped (size based on how well your family likes zucchini, my theory is smaller is less noticeable...)

Start your pasta a-cookin'. As you can see I throw in whatever I've got.

While the pasta is cooking, brown the ground beef, pour off the grease and add your tomato sauce. Spice her up if you like. Add your zucchini for a minute or two, just to soften. The zucchini will finish cooking in the oven.

Mix the sauce together with your noodles.

Dump the whole she-bang into a casserole dish.

Shread some mozzeralla over the top and sprinkle with Parmesian. Cover with foil and pop in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until slightly bubbly and serve. Yummmmm-O.

Now that's comfort food!


kimj said...

Oh, that looks so good! I'm going to have to give it a try! Thanks for sharing your recipe... And I find nothing wrong in finding comfort in a cranberry scone after a test... especially the kind of tests you take!!

Darla said...

Keep up the good work.

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