Sunday, July 5, 2009

Vegetarian Bolognese & Kids ate it up!

So the other night I was at a loss for what to make. We got lots of zucchini from our share in the buying club and we had tons of other veggies from past shares that I needed to use up. I had to come up with some dish that the kids would eat. I decided on a Vegetarian Bolognese (no meat since I didn't have any) and it was a hit so I'm sharing it here (so that I remember how to make it again) and so that it might inspire you to try something like it on your family.
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, cleaned and sliced (I happen to have it and love the flavor but you can certainly do w/o)
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • olive oil, a couple tablespoons
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 big zucchini or 2 smaller ones
  • sea salt & black pepper
  • 1/4 cup of grass-fed cream OR about 1/2 cup grass-fed milk and a roux
  • handful of grated Parmesan
  • 1 pkg pasta - we like brown rice pasta by Tinkyada
Cook pasta according to directions.

Saute onion, leek, and garlic in olive oil until the onions and leek begin to brown and caramelize. Add chopped carrots and celery and saute several more minutes until the carrots are just about tender. Add zucchini and saute until caramelized and season with sea salt and some black pepper.

Here is where I would have just added cream and let it bubble a little (if I had some white wine I probably would have added that first and let it evaporate down and deglaze the pan and then added the dairy but I didn't have either so had to make a thicker sauce with milk and a roux) so I added about 2 tablespoons of flour to the pan coating the veggies to make a roux and sauted a minute. Then I added the milk and brought it to a simmer to thicken.

Blend the whole thing to a thick creamy sauce. I used a hand-held but you could move to a blender to make a smooth sauce. Add more milk to thin it out if necessary.

Toss with pasta, top with grated parmesan and serve. They even thought meat was in it, it was so hearty.

Even Better the Next Day:
The next day for lunch I added 1 egg mixed with 1/4 cup of grass-fed milk and mixed it all together with the pasta tossed in the sauce. I put it in a casserole dish and baked it 375F until the top was crunchy, then topped it with some cheese that melted over it as it was still warm. They loved this version even more and the flavors of the sauce were even better the next day. They asked me to make it again!

Please note:
My kids, three out of four, do eat vegetables. They are bombarded by fruits and vegetables all the time seeing me and my husband eat them, and they always have a selection for snacks (washed fruits and sometimes some veggies are on the table around snack time) and during meals. But, for some reason, even the vegetable-eaters don't seem to be too fond of zucchini. It's one of my favorites so I'm not sure why, so yes, as I was making it, I got a lot of "eww, zucchini, I don't like zucchini" and "that has a lot of vegetables, what are WE going to eat?" and "I'm not eating all those vegetables and I hate zucchini" but once it was blended they didn't know (until I told them) and they ate it up and LOVED it!

Hope your family does too! My kids ate it too fast for me to snap a pic so I'll make this again soon and post it. My non-vegetable eater (well, he eats some if I insist and wait for an hour, which I do) declared it was the best he's ever tasted!

This is part of Kitchen Stewardship Make it from Scratch blog carnival