Fall-Back

In the colder months, a big pan of these vegetables is one of my fall-back meals. Despite the fact that our kitchen was already boiling due to this heat wave, I decided to heat it up even more last night by making a batch. I had a ton of veggies from the Savvy Garden and the most recent Farmer’s Market trip to use up, after all. And perhaps this was my way of willing the cooler fall temps we experienced last week to return?

If so, I may have been successful, because the predicted high for all of next week is in the high 60s to low 70s. Hooray!

A little cheese goes a long way here, especially when you leave it cubed. It gets nice and melty and browned. I usually use a hard cheese like Romano or Asiago, but I used sharp cheddar last night, and it worked just as well.

As for the veggies, use a mix of whatever is in-season and available to you at the time…this dish is super versatile! I like to use at least a few cups of winter squash, potatoes or sweet potatoes to make the dish more filling. In addition to the pumpkin and tomatoes from the Farmer’s Market, these guys decided to join me from the Savvy Garden last night:

1.jpg

2.jpg

Pretty sure that’s the last zucchini out of the Savvy Garden for the year! 🙁

3.jpg 4.jpg

Roasted Veggies

6-8 c chopped vegetables

1/4 c olive oil

Salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste

4 oz sharp cheddar or hard cheese, cut into 1/2″ cubes

5.jpg

Preheat oven to 450*F.

Grease a 9″x13″ pan with oil or cooking spray. Toss the vegetables with olive oil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Fill the pan, then tuck the cheese cubes in so that they are evenly spaced throughout the pan.

Roast for 45-60 minutes, or until vegetables are soft and browned on the outside.

7.jpg

What is one of your fall-back meals?

As Classic As It Gets

Spaghetti and meatballs. Is there any dinner that can be considered to be more classic? I think not. And as it turns out, making the sauce and meatballs from scratch is much easier than you would expect. You’ll never want to go back to canned sauce or frozen meatballs again!

If you’re vegetarian, the marinara alone over pasta will still be amazing. Try this now, while tomatoes are perfectly in season!

Classic Marinara

These are easy to make simultaneously. Should you choose to do so, here’s the order I’d recommend working in:

1. Start soaking the bread in the milk.

2. Cook the garlic and onions for the meatballs.

3. While the bread soaks and the garlic/onions cool, start making the marinara sauce and heat water for the pasta.

4. While the sauce simmers, cook the pasta according to package directions and make the meatballs.

5. Drop the finished meatballs in the simmering sauce, and the marinara and meatballs will be done at the same time.

Classic Marinara Sauce

2 T olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 T dried basil

1 1/2 T dried oregano

1 T dried rosemary

1/2 c dry white wine

2 c chopped zucchini

6 1/2 c crushed tomatoes, fresh or canned

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large sauce pot over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the dried spices and wine and stir for one minute.

Zucchini

Add the zucchini, tomatoes and 1 cup of water. I used a combination of fresh and canned tomatoes, because I ran out of fresh…oops! Cover the sauce and simmer for about 30 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook, allowing the sauce to thicken for 15-20 minutes.

Tomatoes

Classic Meatballs

1 1/2 c torn bread

1 c milk

3 T olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium onion, diced

1 lb ground beef or turkey

1 whole egg, beaten

1 T dried oregano

2 tsp dried rosemary

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

Soak the bread in the milk for 30 minutes. In the meantime, heat 1 T of the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook until translucent and fragrant, about 4-6 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool

OnionGarlic

Squeeze the milk out of the bread so that it is soggy but not sopping. It should stick together in a ball when pressed together, rather than falling apart.

Mix the meat, bread, onion and garlic in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Mix in the egg and spices.

Heat the rest of the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Drop 1″ balls of the meatball mixture into the oil, leaving an 1-2″ of free space around each meatball. You won’t be able to fit them all into the pan at once. Allow each meatballto brown for 2 minutes, then flip to an uncooked edge. Continue browning each edge for 2 minutes before flipping to the next until all sides are browned. Repeat with the rest of the meatballs until all of them are cooked.

As each meatball is browned, add it to the marinara so that it will get cooked all the way through.

Marinara